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Jamaican man clinging to capsized boat is rescued after 36 hours at sea

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A Jamaican national has been rescued in the waters off Florida after 36 hours clinging to a boat that capsized as he tried to enter the U.S. from the Bahamas, while six of his compatriots are missing and presumed dead.

Captain Chase Cornell, a charter fishing skipper out of Fort Pierce, spotted the man on radar about 20 miles offshore and came to his rescue on Friday in his employer’s fishing boat, the Southern Eagle.

‘I slowed down to take a closer look and found this guy clinging to his capsized boat,’ Cornell wrote in a Facebook post.

‘He had left Bimini with six others in attempt to make it across to the states when the boat capsized at 8pm Wednesday night,’ he added.

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A Jamaican national has been rescued in the waters off Florida after 36 hours clinging to a boat that capsized as he tried to enter the U.S. from the Bahamas 

A Coast Guard Station Fort Pierce 45-foot response boat launched to the scene, received the survivor and transferred him ashore to local emergency medical services

A Coast Guard Station Fort Pierce 45-foot response boat launched to the scene, received the survivor and transferred him ashore to local emergency medical services

Cornell and the fishing boat's owner Peter Busch worked together to bring the man aboard

 Cornell and the fishing boat’s owner Peter Busch worked together to bring the man aboard

The rescued man, a Jamaican national whose name has not been made public, was suffering from hypothermia and dehydration, and the crew offered him provisions and blankets

The rescued man, a Jamaican national whose name has not been made public, was suffering from hypothermia and dehydration, and the crew offered him provisions and blankets

Captain Chase Cornell (above) rescued the man while sport fishing in Florida

Captain Chase Cornell (above) rescued the man while sport fishing in Florida

The rescued man, a Jamaican national whose identity has not been made public, was suffering from hypothermia and dehydration. Cornell and his friends wrapped him in warm blankets and contacted the Coast Guard. 

The fishing boat’s owner Peter Busch, owner of Southern Eagle Distributing and chairman of the board at Busch Wildlife Sanctuary, was also on hand to lend assistance in the rescue.

A Coast Guard Station Fort Pierce 45-foot response boat launched to the scene, received the survivor and transferred him ashore to local emergency medical services.

It was unclear what happened to the man after he received medical care, or whether he was transferred into the custody of immigration authorities.  

A Coast Guard spokesman told DailyMail.com on Thursday that the service did not have any further information about the man after the rescue, and a Fort Pierce Police Department spokeswoman said that the department was not called in on the case. 

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement did not immediately respond to an inquiry. 

'We wrapped him in blankets and put him in front of the engine room companionway for warmth,' Cornell wrote in a social media post

‘We wrapped him in blankets and put him in front of the engine room companionway for warmth,’ Cornell wrote in a social media post

A fishing expedition in Florida came across a stranded migrant on Friday, rescuing the man after his boat capsized while he was trying to make it from the Bahamas to the US

A fishing expedition in Florida came across a stranded migrant on Friday, rescuing the man after his boat capsized while he was trying to make it from the Bahamas to the US

A sport fishing crew spotted him on radar clinging to capsized boat

A sport fishing crew spotted him on radar clinging to capsized boat

Cornell, the charter fishing captain, said that he was ‘thankful to have been in the right place at the right time.’

After the Coast Guard retrieved the rescued man from his boat, Cornell decided to continue fishing and caught six blue marlin. He released four and tagged the other two for tracking by the Billfish Foundation to assist with conservation efforts.

The Coast Guard launched a massive search for the six missing crew members that the rescued man said had fallen overboard from the capsized dinghy. 

Coast Guard crews searched an area of 10,694 miles through the weekend, but suspended the search on Sunday night. 

‘The decision to suspend a search-and-rescue case is never one we come to lightly,’ said Captain JoAnn Burdian, commander of Coast Guard Sector Miami. 

‘We offer our deepest sympathies to the friends and families of those involved during this difficult time,’ said Burdian.

After the Coast Guard retrieved the rescued man from his boat, Cornell decided to continue fishing and caught six blue marlin. His friends are seen above on a different fishing trip

After the Coast Guard retrieved the rescued man from his boat, Cornell decided to continue fishing and caught six blue marlin. His friends are seen above on a different fishing trip

Cornell was fishing on the Southern Eagle when he spotted the distressed man on radar

Cornell was fishing on the Southern Eagle when he spotted the distressed man on radar

The U.S. Coast Guard suspended the search on Sunday evening for six other men who went overboard from the capsized dingy (seen above)

The U.S. Coast Guard suspended the search on Sunday evening for six other men who went overboard from the capsized dingy (seen above)

It comes amid an apparent rise in attempts to enter the U.S. illegally by water, often with tragic consequences.

On Monday, the Coast Guard suspended its search for 10 people who were reported as missing approximately eight miles south of Long Key.

The 10 people were reported to have departed from Cuba in an attempt to enter the U.S. onboard what the Coast Guard described as a ‘rustic vessel.’

‘Regardless of nationality, the Coast Guard makes every effort to rescue those in peril at sea,’ said Captain Adam Chamie, Commander of Sector Key West. 

On Monday, the Coast Guard suspended its search for 10 people who were reported as missing from this 'rustic vessel' approximately eight miles south of Long Key

On Monday, the Coast Guard suspended its search for 10 people who were reported as missing from this ‘rustic vessel’ approximately eight miles south of Long Key 

‘Unfortunately, migrants who attempt to illegally enter the United States by boat, often travel aboard unseaworthy, make-shift vessels. 

‘Most times, these vessels are dangerously overloaded, actively taking on water, and are ill-equipped to safely transport any number of people,’ added Chaime.

We made every effort to try and locate these 10 people, and our thoughts are heavy knowing we were unable to locate them and get them home to their loved ones.’  

Earlier this month, three Cuban nationals were rescued by the Coast Guard after spending 33 days stranded on an island south of Florida, where they survived by eating rats, coconuts and conch.

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