Two dead, 10 missing in US boat capsize

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Two people have been killed and 10 others are believed to be missing from a boat that capsized off Key West, Florida, the US Coast Guard reports.

Eight survivors from the wreck were pulled from the water 30 kilometres southwest of Key West by crew members of a Coast Guard cutter on patrol in the area about 1pm on Thursday, Coast Guard spokesman Petty Officer Jose Hernandez said.

Two bodies also were recovered. Coast Guard teams continued to search the area by aircraft and vessels for 10 people who, according to the survivors, were unaccounted for after the boat flipped, Hernandez told Reuters by phone.

Hernandez said he had no information on the type or size of the boat, how it capsized, or if weather conditions may have been a factor.

Hernandez also said he did not know what the stricken vessel or its occupants were doing at the time of the accident. The survivors told Coast Guard officials the accident occurred in darkness, he said.

Separately on Thursday, the Coast Guard repatriated eight Cuban migrants who were intercepted off the coast of Islamorada in the Florida Keys last week while trying to cross the Florida Strait in a raft.

Almost 300 Cuban migrants have been likewise interdicted since last October, the Coast Guard said.

Earlier this month, a vessel packed with 32 people capsized and broke apart off a rocky shoal near San Diego, California, in what authorities said was an ill-fated migrant-smuggling attempt from Mexico that left three dead and five in hospital.

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