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One dead, dozens missing after boat capsizes off Florida

At least one person has died and 38 remain missing after a ship capsized off the coast of the US state of Florida.

Although the incident occurred on Sunday night, officials were alerted on Tuesday after a commercial vessel spotted a man clinging to the hull of a boat some 45 miles (72km) from the city of Fort Pierce.

The survivor said the group had left Bimini in the Bahamas on Saturday night and later encountered foul weather.

US officials said the boat may have been part of a “human smuggling venture”.

According to the survivor, who has not been identified, none of the passengers were wearing a life vest.

Reports say the search is being led by the Miami Coast Guard using ships and aircraft.

On Wednesday morning, Captain Jo-Ann Burdian, the commander of the Coast Guard’s Miami sector, said one body had been recovered and was being transferred to Fort Pierce.

Additionally, she said aircraft had detected a debris field that is currently being investigated in the hopes of finding other survivors.

No further details were released on the nationality of the survivor or the other passengers.

Editing by Omotola Oguneye