The search for a man and a woman who stayed behind with their capsized vessel while a third man swam for help has been suspended

By Rachel DeSantis
November 14, 2019 03:53 PM

The Coast Guard has suspended its search for two missing boaters who vanished after their boat capsized in a storm off the coast of Florida.

The search for Luis Rivas Engrova, 38, and Ylianet Ibañez, 26, was halted Wednesday night, nearly one week after their 23-foot Blue Proline vessel left from the Caribbean Club in Key Largo on Thursday, according to the Coast Guard.

They had set sail with Adnan J. Diaz, 31, who was rescued by a good Samaritan vessel and crew near Biscayne Bay around 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, the Coast Guard said in a press release.

Diaz was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital for further medical care.

Diaz said that he, Engrova and Ibañez had encountered a storm on Friday that capsized their boat, and he swam for help while they stayed behind — wearing life jackets — with the overturned vessel, according to the release.

RELATED VIDEO: Friends Missing After Deadly Colorado River Boat Crash During Labor Day Getaway: It’s a ‘Nightmare’

The Coast Guard Sector Key West received word of the trio’s missing vessel hours before Diaz’s rescue on Sunday.

Before suspending the search, the Coast Guard and partner agencies, including the Miami-Dade Police Department, searched approximately 10,064 square miles, about the size of the state of Maryland, authorities said.

“The Coast Guard’s search and rescue mission is one we take very personally, and making the decision to suspend is never easy,” Christopher Eddy, search and rescue mission coordinator at Coast Guard 7th District, said in a statement. “Despite our best efforts we were not able to locate Ms. Ybanez and Mr. Engrova and our hearts go out to the entire family.”

The capsized boat was found empty on Monday morning off Haulover Inlet, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.

Authorities said the search would remain suspended “pending the development of new information.”