Video: Crew members missing from empty boat

updated 9/25/2007 3:13:37 PM ET 2007-09-25T19:13:37

Four crew members were missing from a boat found adrift and two passengers, one of them a fugitive from Arkansas, were being questioned by federal authorities Tuesday after they were rescued in the Florida Straits near Cuba.

Kirby Logan Archer, 35, of Strawberry, Ark., and Guillermo Zarabozo, 19, of Hialeah, were found in good condition Monday morning on a life raft.

They were being questioned on board a Coast Guard cutter, said Petty Officer James Judge.

The FBI confirmed that Archer is a fugitive in an Arkansas robbery case.

The two men had paid the crew of a Miami Beach charter boat $4,000 to take them to Bimini, Bahamas, where they said girls were waiting for them, authorities said.

Half way through the trip from Florida to Bimini, the boat turned south. “That leads us to believe that something happened at that time,” Judge said.

The 47-foot sport fishing yacht “Joe Cool” was found Sunday afternoon adrift near the Cay Sal Bank in the Bahamas with no one on board.

A search was being conducted Tuesday from just north of Cuba to the Bahamas and South Florida for the captain, Jake Branam, 27; his wife Kelley Branam; his half brother, Scott Campbell, 30; and Samuel Kairy, 27, all of Miami Beach, authorities said.

Archer is accused of stealing $92,620 in cash from a Wal-Mart in Batesville, Ark., where he had worked as an assistant manager, authorities said. The cash was reported missing shortly after Archer left work on Jan. 26, according to a police wanted poster.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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