Four Killed, 11 Rescued After Migrant Boat Capsizes Seven Miles From Downtown Miami

The call came in around 1 o'clock this morning, routed from 911 dispatchers to the U.S. Coast Guard: A boat had capsized a few miles from Government Cut. When the rescue boats and helicopter arrived, they found an overturned craft bobbing in the sea with survivors barely clinging to the hull. The Coast Guard saved 11 people from the vessel, which was carrying immigrants from Haiti and Jamaica, but four other passengers died.

"We're continuing our search," Petty Officer Sabrina Laberdesque tells Riptide. "It's possible there are more people out there."

After the boat capsized about seven miles from Government Cut, the Coast Guard dispatched vessels from Miami and Fort Lauderdale as well as a helicopter from Opa-locka to search for survivors.

At least one man has been taken to Mount Sinai Medical Center, the Miami Herald reports, while others are in Coast Guard custody.

Laberdesque says investigators are still trying to determine where the boat sailed from and how it ended up capsizing.

"It's a white-hulled vessel, 15 to 20 feet with two outboard engines," she says.

We'll update this post as new information comes from the Coast Guard's search and rescue efforts today.

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink