Coast Guard continues search for four missing boaters

CLEARWATER, Fla. — The Coast Guard continues its search Monday for four boaters who went missing about 50 miles west of Clearwater Pass Saturday.

Assets searching are:

  • Two Coast Guard C-130 Hercules fixed-wing aircrews from Air Station Clearwater, Fla.
  • Two HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews from Air Station Clearwater
  • One HC-144 Ocean Sentry fixed-wing aircrew from Air Training Center Mobile, Ala.
  • One Air Force C-130 fixed-wing aircrew from Moody Air Force Base, Ga.
  • The crew of the 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Crocodile, homeported in St. Petersburg, Fla.
  • The crew of the 110-foot Coast Guard Cutter Nantucket, homeported in St. Petersburg
  • The crew of the 179-foot Coast Guard Cutter Tornado, homeported in Pascagoula, Miss.
  • The crew of a 47-foot motor life boat from Station Sand Key, Fla.
  • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers
  • Boat crews from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office

The Coast Guard, the Air Force, FWC and the PCSO are searching a combined area of more than 16,000 square miles.

There are 15- to 20-knot winds and 6- to 9-foot seas in the search area.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg received a call Sunday around 1: 30 a.m. reporting that four friends, NFL players Victor “Marquis” Cooper and Corey Smith, along with Nick Skyler and William Bleakley did not return from their fishing trip as expected. The four boaters left Saturday around 6:30 a.m. from the Seminole Boat Ramp in Clearwater Pass in a 21-foot center-console boat.

If anyone has any information that can help locate the four missing boaters, they are asked to call Sector St. Petersburg at 727-824-7506 or by marine VHF radio channel 16.

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