On Friday, the U.S. The Coastguard postponed the search for a boat carrying about 20 people after failing to return to Florida after a trip to the Bahamas.
Researchers covered more than 17,000 square miles between the Bahamas and South Florida for three days before calling the operations.
The boat sailed Monday from Bimini in the Bahamas to Lake Worth, Fla., Coast Guard officials said. Worth Lake is about 63 miles north of Miami.
“Our thoughts and prayers reach the families of the missing,” said Capt. Stephen Bardian, the Coast Guard’s seventh district response chief. “I encourage anyone with information about morning people to contact us as soon as possible.”
The coastguard did not identify any passengers, but about 20 people were believed to be aboard the missing 29-foot ship. The boat was due to arrive in Florida on Tuesday.
Boats, a Mako Kaddi cabin ship, are used especially for recreation. The coastguard ruled out the possibility. The boat was a smuggled vessel.
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“We don’t know if it’s or not,” Coastguard Patty Officer Fiser Jose Hernandez told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “Regardless, the Coastguard is committed to the safety of all boats. We do not want to lose any lives at sea.”
The Coast Guard conducted the search with the help of the Royal Bahamas Defense Force and the Bahamas Air Sea Rescue.
The Associated Press contributes to this report.