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Rescuers find missing boat off Honduras coast; 9 rescued

By CNN Staff
July 4, 2013 -- Updated 0037 GMT (0837 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • 9 boaters who went missing on Saturday have been found
  • A U.S. Army helicopter hoists survivors to safety
  • At least 2 U.S. citizens were on the boat

(CNN) -- U.S. Coast Guard and military rescuers Wednesday found nine boaters who had been lost at sea off the coast of Honduras.

A U.S. Army UH-60 helicopter crew hoisted the survivors to safety, the Coast Guard said in a statement.

At least two U.S. citizens were aboard the boat, which set out on what should have been an 18-mile journey Saturday but never arrived at its intended destination.

Rescue crews searched more than 4,500 square miles, an area greater than the states of Delaware and Rhode Island combined, according to the Coast Guard. The boaters were found Wednesday morning about 55 miles northwest of their intended destination in Utila, Honduras, the Coast Guard said.

The Coast Guard said the incident shows the importance of keeping safety equipment, such as emergency beacons that help rescuers find mariners in distress, onboard boats.

CNN's Mike Ahlers, Amanda Watts and Catherine E. Shoichet contributed to this report.

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