Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Day 44° Clear
News >  Nation/World

A Florida-bound boat with 20 aboard went missing. The Coast Guard’s search has ended

UPDATED: Sat., Jan. 2, 2021

By Howard Cohen Miami Herald

MIAMI – The first sign something was wrong came Tuesday when Bahamian authorities reached out to the U.S. Coast Guard’s Southeast Division to alert them that 20 people aboard a blue and white 29-foot Mako Cuddy Cabin vessel had gone missing. The passengers were in the oft-cited Bermuda Triangle.

The group, yet to be identified, was last known to have left Bimini on Monday en route to Lake Worth, the Coast Guard learned. They should have arrived that day.

But something went wrong somewhere in the waters between the Bahamas and South Florida – an area that encompasses the mythical section of the Atlantic oft-dubbed the Bermuda Triangle or Devil’s Triangle, unofficially bounded by Miami, Bermuda and Puerto Rico and covering about 500,000 square miles of ocean off the southeastern tip of Florida, according to the History Channel.

On Friday, after searching for about 84 hours and more than 17,000 square miles – roughly double the size of Massachusetts, the Coast Guard said – rescuers that included Air Station crews from Miami and Clearwater suspended their search.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the missing people,” Capt. Stephen V. Burdian of the Seventh District said in a statement. “I encourage anyone with information about the people aboard to contact us as soon as possible.”

Jose Hernandez, U.S. Coast Guard Public Affairs Petty Officer First Class, told CBS12 News that rough waters and the limited information they had on the boaters proved especially challenging during the search and rescue operation.

“The hardest thing is that the longer it takes to find somebody, they longer they can be drifting,” Hernandez told the station.

In addition to an HC-144 and a C-130 Hercules , Coast Guard cutters and Royal Bahamas forces were also involved in the search.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.