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4 found dead off Florida coast; Coast Guard searches for other possible victims, vessel

The Coast Guard said late Sunday it was continuing a search for any more possible bodies or "anyone in distress" after four people were found dead in waters miles off the South Florida coast.

Two males were found floating in waters about 20 miles east of Hollywood beach on Sunday morning, authorities said. The Coast Guard responded and later found two other males off the coast, adding its search involved a Coast Guard cutter and air crews.

"Our main concern is to make sure there's no one else out there in distress that might need help," said Petty Officer Mark Barney of the search that continued into the evening Sunday, hours after the morning discovery.

Barney said a Coast Guard plane reported what appeared to be as many as three other bodies in the vicinity of the victims, but crews were still searching the water to see whether they actually were bodies or just debris. No vessel belonging to the victims has been located, he said.

The Coast Guard said the dead have not been identified and it's not clear if they may have been migrants.

Barney also told The Miami Herald ( http://hrld.us/1vCGpEx ) that it was unclear how the bodies wound up in the water or exactly where they came from.

"All we know are the bodies were in bad condition," he was quoted as telling the paper, saying they appeared to have been in the water some time. He added that the bodies were found within about two miles of each other.

The statement said the Coast Guard first got a tip from "good Samaritans" about 8:30 a.m. Sunday reporting two of the bodies.

Earlier Sunday, the Coast Guard said in a previous statement that one of the four recovered was female. But on Sunday evening, the Coast Guard issued a subsequent update and said it was correcting that all were male. It did not elaborate.

The statement also said the Coast Guard Cutter Dolphin and air crews from three Coast Guard locations around Florida had been taking part in the search, along with local law enforcement agents and others.

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