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2 of 6 Miami boaters found; FBI called in

Update: One of survivors on FBI’s most wanted list.

U.S. Coast Guard crews on Monday found two of six men reported missing from a chartered fishing boat that left Miami Beach over the weekend. The two were found floating in a life raft. In a mysterious twist, still missing are the four crew members of the 47-foot Joe Cool – three men and a woman. After interviewing the men rescued on Monday morning, the FBI was called in to investigate the incident.

”We handle crimes on the the high seas and there might be the potential for that here, but that’s all we can say,” said FBI spokeswoman Judy Orihuela. She would not elaborate. Agents were flown to the Coast Guard cutter that rescued the men and will to conduct their own interviews, Orihuela said. The men plucked from the waters were identified as Guillermo Zarabozo, 19, of Hialeah and a friend, Kirby Archer, age and hometown unknown. They were found 12 miles north of the Joe Cool, which was discovered unoccupied Sunday night floating in waters near the Bahamas some 140 miles south of the boat’s destination.

The two were uninjured. For the Coast Guard, the search for the four missing continued. ”The FBI is handling the law enforcement investigation; we’re doing the search and rescue,” said Coast Guard Petty Officer Jennifer Johnson. The Coast Guard would not elaborate on what prompted the call to federal authorities.

The sport fisher Joe Cool left Miami Beach for Bimini on Saturday morning with the two passengers and four crew members. A relative of one of the boaters reported them missing Saturday night.

The Coast Guard sent out two cutters, an airplane and a helicopter to search for the missing boat and found it Sunday night ”in disarray,” Coast Guard Petty Officer James Judge said. The boat was found near Cay Sal, about 180 miles southeast of Miami, without its life raft. ‘It’s a mystery because the Gulf Stream flows north and this is nowhere near where they intended to go,” Judge said.

Judge said the search continues for crew members Capt. Jake Branam, his wife Kelly Branam, Scott Campbell and Sammy Cary, all of Miami.

The website for Branam’s company, Sissy Baby Sport Fishing, describes the boat as 47 feet long with a TV, DVD player, two living areas, two bathrooms and a kitchen area. Zarabozo and his friend paid $4,000 for the trip, Judge said.

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