By CBSMiami.com Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Rescuers are searching for 39 people believed to be missing after a boat capsized off the coast of Florida,, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. The Coast Guard suspects it was a human smuggling venture.

The Miami Coast Guard sector was alerted after a good Samaritan rescued a man clinging to a capsized vessel approximately 45 miles east of Fort Pierce Inlet on Tuesday morning.

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The surviving man told the U.S. Coast Guard he and 39 other people left from Bimini in the Bahamas on Saturday night. Severe weather caused the vessel to capsize, and none of the passengers were wearing a life jacket.

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“Coast Guard air and surface asset crews are actively searching for people in the water,” the Coast Guard tweeted Tuesday.

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Officials said they will provide further updates.

CBSMiami.com Team