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Coast Guard suspends search for 10 Cuban migrants missing off Florida

Eight people were rescued and two were pronounced dead after a boat from Cuba overturned Thursday. The Coast Guard stopped searching for the missing Saturday.

The Coast Guard suspended its search Saturday for 10 missing migrants who were on a boat from Cuba that had overturned off the coast of Florida.

Eight people were rescued Thursday 16 miles southwest of Key West after the boat capsized. Two people were pronounced dead, and 10 others were missing.

IMAGE: Coast Guard cutter Resolute rescues eight people south of Key West
The Coast Guard cutter Resolute rescues eight people from the water about 16 miles south of Key West, Fla., on Thursday.U.S. Coast Guard District 7

The Coast Guard halted the effort after 123 hours of a search that spanned an area the size of New Hampshire. The Navy, the Air Force, Customs and Border Protection and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission assisted.

"The Coast Guard, partner Department of Defense and local agency crews searched continuously the past three days to locate the missing 10 people," Capt. Adam Chamie, commander of Sector Key West, said in a statement Sunday.

"The decision to suspend a search is always difficult and is made after careful consideration of all the facts. Our deepest condolences go out to the families and loved ones impacted by this tragedy," Chamie said.

The Coast Guard said the eight who were rescued told it that the group left Puerto de Mariel, Cuba, on May 23 and capsized sometime Wednesday evening.

The migrants were spotted while a Coast Guard crew was on routine patrol Thursday afternoon.