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Search for missing boaters to be suspended at sunset

U.S. Coast Guard Southeast Twitter One person was rescued after the overturned vessel was found off the coast of Fort Pierce on Jan. 25, 2022.

The U.S. Coast Guard has reported that they plan to suspend the search for the 39 missing boaters from the Bahamas at sunset on Thursday.

The boaters believed to be part of a human smuggling operation,  left Bimini, Bahamas on Saturday night when their boat capsized in severe weather shortly after.

One of the boaters was rescued by a commercial mariner on Tuesday morning after he was found clinging to an overturned boat about 45 miles east of the Fort Pierce Inlet.

The U.S. Coast Guard has been searching the area for several days.  A large  a debris field consistent with the amount of people on board the vessel was discovered on Wednesday and four bodies have been found since this morning.

During a press conference Thursday Capt. Jo-Ann Burdian called the day “challenging” as it was reported that they plan to suspend the search at sunset.

The investigation, however, will still continue.

Authorities are asking anyone who believes their loved one may have been on the boat to contact the Homeland Security Investigations Tip Line at 1-866-347-2423.