The U.S. Coast Guard called off a search for four fishermen who abandoned their vessel after it caught fire and sank Monday afternoon off the coast.

The identities of the fishermen are not known, according to the Coast Guard. It has not received any reports of overdue boats or any missing boaters. No signs of the vessel or debris were evident as of Tuesday morning.

“Suspending a search is a difficult decision to make,” said Mark Visconti, a search-and-rescue controller with Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville. “Our goal for every search-and-rescue mission is to find survivors and return them to their loved ones. We’ll investigate any new leads on this case and resume searching if appropriate.”

The captain said his 37-foot fishing vessel caught fire and was taking on water, according to the Coast Guard. The four crew members got into a life raft while the ship was sinking.

Read the full story at the Florida Times-Union >>

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