The United States Coast Guard has suspended their search for a Florida-bound boat carrying approximately 20 people.
The group announced the suspension of its efforts last Friday, revealing in a release that the blue-and-white 29-foot Mako Cuddy Cabin vessel had set off the previous Monday, headed for Lake Worth, Florida, from Bimini, Bahamas, and "did not arrive as expected."
In the release, the USCG explains that those involved in the search (across about 17,000 square miles and over three and a half days) included Coast Guard Cutter Robert Yered, Royal Bahamas Defence Force surface units, Coast Guard Cutter Margaret Norvel crew, Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater C-130 Hercules aircrew and more.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the missing people," Capt. Stephen V. Burdian, Seventh District Chief of Response, said in the release.
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One day before suspending their efforts, the USCG tweeted out a map of the search area, which stretched from Bimini all the way up the Florida coast, ending near Jacksonville's latitude.
"The @USCG suspended its search at approximately noon for the overdue vessel," the group tweeted the following day. "The Coast Guard & partner agencies searched approx. 17,000 square miles, roughly double the size of Massachusetts, for about 84 hours."
According to The New York Times, Petty Officer Third Class Jose Hernandez said the boat was reported missing on Tuesday after a family member of one of the passengers didn't receive a call that the vessel had made it safely to its Florida destination.
"This entire time, it was a search-and-rescue case," Hernandez said. "At this time, the suspension just means that we're focusing on other cases until we do get more information, then we'll search for this particular vessel and people."
In the USCG's Friday release, Capt. Burdian said, "I encourage anyone with information about the people aboard to contact us as soon as possible."
The USCG urged those with any information about the people on board the vessel (which the group did not name) to call the District Seven Command Center at 305-415-6800.
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