ST. PETE BEACH, Fla. — The Coast Guard and partner agencies continue their search for two males missing near the Pass-a-Grille channel entrance.
Missing are Andrew Dillman, 27 from New York, and Jie Lou, 21 from China.
Coast Guard crews and partner agencies have conducted 22 searches over 419 square miles.
“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Andrew and Jie during this difficult time,” said Lt. Jason Holstead, the command duty officer at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg. “We continue work closely with our partners to search for Andrew and Jie; all of us have them and their family in our thoughts and prayers.”
At 6:10 p.m. Tuesday Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg watch standers received a report from the captain of the 71-foot yacht, Jaguar, stating two males were missing from the boat.
Fifteen college students chartered the yacht for the day. When the yacht anchored at Shell Key, five students, including Lou, jumped from the boat to swim. The current pulled the students away from the boat, and all but Lou were able to make it back to the boat. Dillman, a crew member aboard the yacht, jumped in to rescue Lou, and was also swept away.
Crews from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Coast Guard Station St. Petersburg, Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are actively searching for the missing men.