Miraculous story of survival

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The identities and conditions of the survivors had not been released as of Monday afternoon.

All of the boaters were family members who had left Layton, in the Middle Keys, to go fishing early Saturday, Dube said. The women said they had been fishing from their anchored boat about 3.5 miles off the Middle Keys when the boat flipped.

The Coast Guard met the commercial fishing boat to bring the men ashore for medical attention. The boaters were wrapped in blankets and treated for shock and hypothermia.

"They were all pretty happy to see each other," Graves said.

It wasn't clear if the boaters were aware of a small craft advisory that had been posted early Saturday warning of wind speeds of 23-38 mph and seas 7 feet or higher as torrential rains poured over the Keys and South Florida.

"They shouldn't have been out there," Dube said. "It was nasty from the get-go."

The conditions improved by early Sunday, and while spending long hours in choppy water would have been difficult, the warm waters off the Keys were survivable, said Bill South, senior meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Key West.

The child and a couple of other boaters were taken to Fishermen's Community Hospital in Marathon. Calls to the hospital early Monday were not immediately returned.

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