At least 10 people have died after a boat carrying nearly 30 migrants, mostly Haitian, sank off the Florida coast early Wednesday morning.

According to the Coast Guard, 17 people were rescued and continued to search for others.

The search was expected to last overnight, and although the Coast Guard hadn't figured out exactly how many people were aboard or how many might still be lost at sea, it appeared certain that it fit the profile of migrant smuggling.

The boat has not been found and appears to have sunk.

At least 1,500 Haitian migrants are intercepted at sea and repatriated by the US Coast Guard each year.

At the peak of the exodus of Haitian refugees in the early 1990s more than 60,000 migrants were intercepted at sea.