Coast Guard and Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office locate overdue boater

7th Coast Guard District News
APOLLO BEACH, Fla. – The Coast Guard and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO)concluded a search for a 65-year-old man believed to be missing while boating near the Apollo Beach area, Wednesday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg, Fla., received a report at 2:14 a.m., Wednesday from the HCSO regarding Tek Marciniak, a 65-year-old male from the Apollo Beach area, who had not arrived at his destination while sailing on a 19-foot flats boat.

A HCSO helicopter crew and marine boat crew searched the area Marciniak was believed to be boating in throughout Tuesday evening but were unable to locate him.

A Coast Guard Station St. Petersburg 25-foot response boat crew launched at 6:05 a.m., and a Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater MH-60 helicopter crew launched at 6:35 a.m., to the scene.

At 6:45 a.m., the Coast Guard helicopter crew located Marciniak’s vessel approximately one mile northwest of Apollo Beach.

The Coast Guard 25-foot small response boat crew was able to arrive on scene shortly after to find Marciniak in good condition. His vessel had run out of gas during the return trip.

Marciniak was reported to not have any emergency communication equipment on board (cell phone, VHF radio) but was reported to have distress flares and lifejackets.

Marciniak declined Coast Guard assistance.

“This case demonstrates the importance of having the right emergency communication equipment on board your vessel no matter how long or short your voyage may be,” said Capt. Sheryl Dickinson, Commander of Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg. “The Coast Guard and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office expended several assets and man hours searching for someone who was believed to be in distress. Had the owner possessed the right emergency communication equipment he would have been able to contact a family member or friend.”

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