3 dead, 7 rescued after boat capsizes off South Florida coast

Published On: Feb 06 2014 03:50:09 PM EST
Updated On: Feb 06 2014 08:57:08 PM EST

U.S. Coast Guard image

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -

Officials say Coast Guard search-and-rescue crews are searching for two people after the Royal Netherlands Navy rescued seven suspected migrants and recovered three dead bodies earlier off the east coast of Florida.

The U.S. Coast Guard reports that the Royal Netherlands Navy Zeeland contacted watchstanders around noon Thursday to report a capsized 24-foot center console vessel with seven suspected migrants atop of the hull. A Coast Guard cutter and a helicopter were sent to the scene, about 75 miles northeast of West Palm Beach.

Upon discovering the vessel, the Royal Netherlands Navy rescued the survivors and recovered the bodies from within the hull.

The Royal Netherlands Navy was heading to Key West when it discovered the overturned vessel.

Coast Guard spokesman Mark Barney says they're still trying to determine the nationalities of the boaters and whether human smuggling was involved.

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