Coast Guard continues search for missing Bokeelia, Florida mariner

Southeastern Coast Guard NewsFORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. — The Coast Guard continues to search Wednesday for an 88-year-old, Bokeelia resident who was last scene departing Four Winds Marina Tuesday.

Missing is Robert Hodge, resident of Bokeelia, Fla., last seen wearing a white shirt and tan pants.

Hodge’s wife contacted Coast Guard Station Fort Myers Beach watchstanders at approximately 9:45 p.m., Tuesday, reporting her husband is aboard a 17-foot recreational boat, and he did not arrive before sunset as expected.

Fort Myers Beach watchstanders relayed the call to personnel at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg Command Center who immediately issued an urgent marine information broadcast, and launched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater to the scene. Station Fort Myers Beach small boat crews were also launched to assist in the search.

Cape Coral Marine Unit located Hodge’s vessel approximately two miles from his home, floating in the mangroves in about 2-feet of water on the northeast side of Pine Island near Smokehouse Bay. The vessel’s keys were in the ignition; however, Hodge was not aboard the vessel.

Anyone with information regarding the overdue boater is encouraged to contact the Sector St. Petersburg command center at 727-824-7506.

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