The discovery of one body comes after a sole survivor was found in the water on Tuesday, clinging to the partially capsized vessel.
Capt. Jo-Ann F. Burdian told the Tampa Bay Times: “It is dire. The longer they remain in the water ... exposed to the marine environment ... with every moment that passes, it becomes much more dire and more unlikely” that people will be pulled from the water alive.
Officials say that the alarm was raised when a survivor clinging to the overturned vessel was rescued by a passing craft east of the state’s Fort Pierce Inlet.
The survivor says that the group, none of whom had life jackets, left Bimini in the Bahamas on Saturday night when they encountered bad weather.
The coast guard says that they are dealing with a “suspected human smuggling venture”.
“Coast guard air and surface asset crews are actively searching for people in the water,” they said in a tweet.
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