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Baltimore Key Bridge Search Suspended for Evening, Efforts to Shift from Rescue to Recovery in the Morning

"None of our partners are going away, but we're just going to transition to a different phase," said U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Shannon N. Gilreath

<p>Tasos Katopodis/Getty</p> The U.S. Coast Guard patrols near the cargo ship Dali as it sits in the water after running into and collapsing the Francis Scott Key Bridge

Tasos Katopodis/Getty

The U.S. Coast Guard patrols near the cargo ship Dali as it sits in the water after running into and collapsing the Francis Scott Key Bridge

Search efforts have been suspended Tuesday evening in Baltimore following the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

"I'd like to announce tonight that based on the length of time that we've gone on this search, the extensive search efforts that we've put into it, the water temperature, at this point we do not believe that we're going to find any of these individuals still alive," said U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Shannon N. Gilreath said of the six unaccounted-for workers in a press conference streamed by WBAL-TV on Tuesday night.

"So this evening, at about 7:30, we are going to suspend the search and rescue efforts. The coast Guard is not going away," added Gilreath. "None of our partners are going away, but we're just going to transition to a different phase. "

<p>AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey</p> Rear Admiral Shannon Gilreath, Commander Fifth Coast Guard District, speaks in Dundalk, Maryland, on Tuesday

AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey

Rear Admiral Shannon Gilreath, Commander Fifth Coast Guard District, speaks in Dundalk, Maryland, on Tuesday

Related: Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapse in Maryland: Live Updates About the Incident in Baltimore

Col. Roland L. Butler Jr., Maryland State Police secretary, echoed similar sentiments.

"At this point, like the admiral said, we're going away from the search and rescue portion to a recovery operation. The changing conditions out there have made it dangerous for the first responders, [and] the divers in the water," said Butler. He said efforts will resume Wednesday morning.

"At 0600 hours tomorrow, we are hoping to put divers in the water and begin a more detailed search to recover those six missing people" he explained.

<p>Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty</p> View of the vessel striking the bridge

Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty

View of the vessel striking the bridge

Related: 6 People Remain Missing Hours After Baltimore Bridge Collapse: 'Our Prayers Are with the Families'

After confirming that the six members of a construction crew still remain missing, Gilreath spoke about the difficulties search and rescue crews have faced in their mission.

"We got very difficult water temperatures," he said. "You have structures from the bridge in the water than can move with the tides and currents making that dangerous for divers and people in the water to actually do recovery. And we do not want to injure any of these first responders in this recovery effort. We absolutely want to be as safe as possible for everyone involved in this."

<p>JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty </p> Steel frame from the the Francis Scott Key Bridge sits on top of a container ship

JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty

Steel frame from the the Francis Scott Key Bridge sits on top of a container ship

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Butler added to his comments by stating that "all it takes is one object to strike an individual, and all of a sudden, we have a first responder trying to recover another first responder."

The Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed early Tuesday morning after the cargo ship Dali collided with it. The Dali remains in the water underneath some of the wreckage as rescuers and investigators continue their efforts.

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