KEY WEST — Two people died and five were missing after a boat believed to be carrying migrants attempting to enter the U.S. illegally capsized off the coast of the Florida Keys, the Coast Guard said.
Eight people were rescued, the Coast Guard said in a news release Friday. The agency described the boat as a “rustic vessel” that was making an illegal voyage with 15 migrant passengers. It was not immediately clear where the migrants were originally from.
Reports of the capsized vessel about 14 miles (about 23 kilometers) south of Sugarloaf Key reached the Coast Guard around 10 a.m. Friday. One person was rescued from the water by the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Mariner of the Seas, the Coast Guard said.
“Our search continues for others that may have survived this tragic incident,” said Rear Adm. Brendan McPherson, commander of the Seventh Coast Guard District. “This situation highlights the risks these migrants face as they attempt to enter the United States illegally by sea.”