Five people died and a search was underway Monday for five others after a homemade vessel carrying migrants from Cuba capsized near the coast of Florida over the weekend, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
The search was taking place about 50 miles off Little Torch Key, an island in the lower Florida Keys.
A total of 19 people were believed to be on the vessel in the “failed migration venture,” and four people reportedly drowned immediately upon capsizing Saturday, the Coast Guard’s 7th District said.
Nine people were rescued, and one body was recovered.
Some of the rescued were wearing lifejackets, which authorities credited with saving their lives in furious 6-to-8 foot seas amid 30 mph winds.
Later, search crews recovered two unconscious people, but it’s unclear if they were part of the four reported to have drowned or the five unaccounted for.
Those two unresponsive people were transferred into the care of emergency medical services and their current condition was not immediately known, the Coast Guard's 7th District said Monday.