Dozens feared dead after boat capsizes off Florida as officials search for survivors

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Dozens are feared dead after the ship reportedly capsized off the coast of Florida. Officials were alerted on Tuesday morning after a fisherman saw a man clinging to the hull of a boat 45 miles from the city of Fort Pierce

According to a survivor, the group had set sail from Bimini, Bahamas before hitting inclement weather conditions.

In a statement the US Coast Guard reiterated how dangerous it was to sail in the area in small unsafe vessels.

They said: “Navigating the Florida Straits, Windward and Mona Passages in overloaded and less than seaworthy passages is extremely dangerous and can result in loss of life.

“The Coast Guard and our partner agencies will continue to stop these voyages.

“You will be interdicted and should expect to be returned and repatriated to your country of origin.”

According to the survivor, who hasn’t been identified, none of the passengers on the boat were wearing a life jacket.

US officials have indicated that the boat may have been part of a “human smuggling venture”.

On Twitter the Miami Coast Guard said they were leading the search with ships and aircraft. 

However, by Tuesday afternoon no further survivors had been found.

The island of Bimini is in the western most district of The Bahamas only 80 miles from Miami.

Officials are searching an area from Bimini to Fort Pierce roughly 135 miles wide.

It comes after the Coast Guard reported they had found 88 Haitians in an overloaded ship west of the Bahamas. 

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