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Four bodies found floating off Florida coast prompt search, questions

(Reuters) - U.S. authorities were trying to determine on Monday what happened to four men whose bodies were found floating off the Atlantic coast of Florida, as the search for additional possible victims continued by air and sea.

The bodies were discovered in debris in the Atlantic Ocean near Hollywood, Florida, on Sunday, but no boat or boat wreckage was seen in the area, about 20 nautical miles (37 km) off the coast, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

A Coast Guard vessel searched overnight for any signs of a boat, additional bodies or people in distress, and a search by air was to resume early on Monday, said Chief Petty Officer Ryan Doss.

"We’re hoping we find some sort of vessel or debris to give us a clue about what happened," Doss said.

Two people boating near Hollywood between Miami and Fort Lauderdale spotted two male bodies early on Sunday and alerted the Coast Guard, which began a search. Two more male bodies were later recovered.

Aerial teams spotted what appeared to be other bodies on Sunday, but they have not been confirmed or recovered, the Coast Guard said.

The Broward County medical examiner's office will investigate the men's identities, as well as the time and cause of death, Doss said.

It was unclear whether the victims were from the United States, Cuba or another Caribbean country.

(Reporting by Colleen Jenkins in Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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