A Dutch naval vessel, the Royal Netherlands Navy Zeeland, alerted the Coast Guard today after discovering a capsized 24-foot center console 75 miles northeast of West Palm Beach, Florida.
According to the Coast Guard, the Dutch sailors found the vessel with, “seven suspected migrants atop the hull.” In addition to the seven survivors, the Zeeland retrieved the bodies of three others from within the hull of the center console.
The U.S. Coast Guard has since scrambled the 154-foot cutter, Richard Etheridge, from Miami and a C-130 airplane from nearby Clearwater to search for two more persons that are believed to be missing in the aftermath of the capsizing.
Coast Guard Petty Officer Sabrina Laberdesque told CNN that they are taking over the operation from the Dutch navy and will transport those rescued to the Florida mainland. It is unknown where the vessel originated from and how long it was at sea.