U.S. Coast Guard suspends search for two missing mariners near Bahamas

The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended its search for two missing mariners approximately 20 miles north of Great Inagua. A helicopter crew deployed in Great Inagua rescued six people after their 90-foot Vanuatu-flagged schooner De Gallant sank.

Rescue crews searched by air and sea for approximately 44 combined hours since the initial report and covered more than 3,700 square miles.

The Coast Guard Seventh District command center launched a search operation early Tuesday morning after receiving distress notifications from personal locator beacons.

A helicopter crew located two life rafts with six French-nationals floating among a field of debris.

The survivors reported the De Gallant had encountered a passing storm and began taking on water, as the Coast Guard said in its statement.

The crew members donned yellow survival suits before boarding life rafts when it became apparent the vessel was sinking.

As it is reported by the U.S. Coast Guard, the helicopter crew hoisted the six survivors and brought them to Coast Guard Air Station Miami in Opa Locka, Florida, in good health.

Two female crew members were unaccounted for and the Coast Guard, along with Royal Bahamas Defence Force, continued the search.