KEY WEST, Fla. — Two people were killed and as many as 10 others were missing on Thursday when the boat they were in overturned off Key West, Fla., according to the Coast Guard, which said it had rescued eight of the vessel’s passengers from the Gulf of Mexico.
A Coast Guard cutter had been patrolling in the area, about 18 miles southwest of Key West, when it encountered the boat’s passengers in the water around 1 p.m., Petty Officer Jose Hernandez, a Coast Guard spokesman, said in an interview on Thursday night.
It was not immediately clear what type of boat was involved, where it embarked from or its destination.
It was also unclear whether the people were passengers of a pleasure craft or migrants trying to reach U.S. shores.
“There was no vessel. The people were found in the water,” Petty Officer Hernandez said. “That’s why we don’t have any of the nationalities or anything like that.”
The Coast Guard said that a search for survivors was continuing Thursday evening and that it was still gathering details, including what had caused the vessel to overturn.
“We’re searching for 10 possible people still in the water,” Petty Officer Hernandez said.
Two cutters and several smaller boats from the Coast Guard’s Key West Station were part of the search effort, as well as a Navy aircraft, officials said.