If we do not receive additional information allowing us to refine our search or direct us to other survivors, we will suspend active searches at nightfall., Miami Area Coast Guard Captain Jo-Ann Burdian said at a news conference.
The boat, which left the Bimini Islands in the Bahamas on Saturday evening, had capsized shortly after departure, and the alert had been given Tuesday morning by a commercial vessel which had picked up one of the passengers, the only known survivor to date, who had managed to cling to the hull of the overturned boat.
Unfortunately, we have arrived at the most difficult moment of this kind of operation, where we have to decide whether to stop active research, added the captain of the coast guard, which found four bodies in the last 24 hours, after a first body found earlier.
According to the survivor, the boat was carrying 39 other people and none of the passengers were wearing life jackets.
The boat had capsized about 70 km east of the park in Fort Pierce Inlet, located north of Miami. It was about 200 km north of the Bimini Islands.
With every passing moment, He becomes
more unlikely that anyone could have survived, Ms. Burdian had explained with seriousness on Wednesday.
The American authorities, who opened an investigation, suspect a
human smuggling operation, describing a
usual route for such traffic
between the Bahamas and the southeastern United States.
The purpose of this investigation is to identify, arrest and prosecute any responsible or criminal group who organized, facilitated or profited from this doomed enterprise., said Anthony Salisbury, an investigator, on Thursday.
The Bahamas, an archipelago of 700 islets (including 39 inhabited) located 80 km southeast of the coast of Florida, close to Jamaica, Cuba and Haiti, are regularly used as a land of transit by migrants who seek to reach the United States, and as a starting point for a dangerous crossing by Haitians living in the archipelago.
About 5,000 Haitian migrants work legally in the Bahamas, according to the World Organization for Migration, but between 20,000 and 50,000 reside there illegally.