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More Than 100 People Rescued Before Overloaded Sailing Vessel Hit Sandbar

Photo: @USCGSoutheast/Twitter

More than 100 people were rescued from an overloaded sailing vessel just prior to it colliding with a sandbar in the Florida Keys on Monday, the U.S. Coast Guard's southeast branch announced on its verified Twitter account Monday (November 21).

The branch initially reported 22 people were rescued after a good Samaritan reported the incident to Sector Key West watchstanders at 5:00 a.m. and crews received "reports of people in the water" off Rodriguez Key.

The branch said responding officers encountered “6-10 ft seas, 25 mph winds to safely remove the people from the vessel."

The Coast Guard later shared an update that the Coast Guard and "partner crews rescued more than 100 people before the vessel hit a sand bar off Whale Harbor."

The branch didn't specify the nationalities of the people rescued from the vessel as of early Tuesday (November 22) morning.

The rescue comes after Coast Guard Southeast announced it had suspended its search for possible survivors in relation to an incident in which a homemade vessel carrying Cuban migrants was capsized near the Florida coast this past weekend.

The Cuban vessel was believed to have a total of 19 passengers on board. Survivors reported that four people traveling on the vessel had immediately drowned after it capsized on Saturday (November 19), according to the Coast Guard's 7th District via NBC News.