FORT PIERCE, Fla. — The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended the search for six people who were reported as missing after their boat capsized off of Florida's Atlantic coast.

"The decision to suspend a search-and-rescue case is never one we come to lightly," Capt. JoAnn Burdian, commander of Coast Guard Sector Miami, said in a statement issued Sunday. "We offer our deepest sympathies to the friends and families of those involved during this difficult time."

The search began Friday morning when a boater rescued a Jamaican national who said six others were with him when their 18-foot (5.4-meter) vessel overturned Wednesday off Fort Pierce.

They were en route from Bimini, Bahamas, according to the Coast Guard. The agency did not say where the boat was headed.

Fort Pierce is north of West Palm Beach.