Coast Guard searching for 6 people several miles off Fort Pierce Inlet
Fort Pierce, Fl (treasurecoast.com)- The U.S. Coast Guard continued to search Sunday for six people lost at sea three days after their boat apparently capsized several miles off the Fort Pierce Inlet.
Shortly before 10 a.m. Sunday, Coast Guard officials said the search that began Friday morning is still underway.
The search began when a Fort Pierce charter boat captain and crew rescued a Jamaican national identified as Orville Lyons, who said six others were with him when their 18-foot vessel overturned Wednesday about 23 miles offshore of Fort Pierce.
According to Coast Guard officials, the boat was coming from Bimini when it capsized.
Capt. Chase Cornell of Southern Eagle charters in Fort Pierce described how a fishing trip Friday morning turned into a rescue mission when they spotted Lyons in the water, barely hanging on after 36 hours afloat.
By 7:50 a.m. Friday, Lyons had been saved and was taken to the mainland for medical treatment. Soon after, a U.S. Coast Guard rigid inflatable vessel arrived on the scene, Cornell said.
Lyons told his rescuers that two Bahamians, one of whom was the captain, three Guyanese and two Jamaicans were aboard the vessel. The passengers had planned to come to the United States. However, shortly after dark the first night, the captain finished a bottle of liquor, became blackout drunk, and fell overboard.
He was the only one who knew how to operate the boat.
The Coast Guard dispatched three cutters and an airplane to search the area.