Border Patrol, other agencies respond to suspected migrant smuggling operation off Key Largo

Authorities are working to remove dozens of passengers from a grounded sailing vessel off Key Largo as they investigate what they described as a suspected maritime smuggling event.

U.S. Border Patrol, Coast Guard and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue units have responded to a possible migrant vessel near Ocean Reef Club, at around 3 p.m., Saturday.

Just after 5:20 p.m., 7SkyForce hovered above the offshore vessel and Coast Guard crews slowly removed the people on board.

Coast Guard crews used at least three of their small inflatable boats to remove the passengers from the vessel.

First responders are evaluating the passengers and providing medical treatment to anyone in need.

Authorities have not disclosed how many people were on board the vessel, but reports estimate between 150 and 200 people were on board.

Please check back on and 7News for more details on this developing story.