Coast Guard locates missing boater near Mobile, Ala.

MIAMI – A Coast Guard HU-25 Falcon jet crew from Aviation Training Center, Mobile, Ala., located Robert Jackson, Jr., and his 45-foot sailing vessel Sun Song safe, nine miles south of Mobile around 10 a.m. Sunday.

Crewmembers of the Coast Guard Cutter Cobia conducted a post search and rescue boarding with Jackson and discovered he had lost his cell phone overboard in Key West, Fla., and was unable to contact his family to let them know he was safe. Additionally, Jackson lost generator power and use of his VHF marine radio during the journey making him unaware of the Urgent Marine Information Broadcast being sent to help locate him.

A family member contacted the Coast Guard District Seven Command Center in Miami Wednesday to report Robert Jackson Jr., had not been heard from since March 1 when he was off the coast of Fort Pierce, Fla. Jackson, an experienced sailor, departed from St. Augustine, Fla., Feb. 25, and was en route to his new home in Slidell, La. Jackson was last seen near the Cape Florida Light, off Miami March 3 when he rendered assistance from Tow Boat U.S. after running aground.

Coast Guard units that assisted with the search for Jackson were:

  • C-130 Hercules fixed-wing aircrew from Air Station Clearwater, Fla.
  • HU-25 Falcon jet crew from Air Station Miami.
  • HU-25 Falcon jet crew from Aviation Training Center, Mobile, Ala.
  • Coast Guard Cutter Cobia, an 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Mobile, Ala.

We were happy to find Mr. Jackson safe this morning,” said Coast Guard Lt. Justin Nadolny, a search and rescue coordinator at the District Seven Command Center in Miami. “Jackson did the right thing by letting his family members know his departure date, and anticipated arrival date in Slidell, but could have better assisted planners by also providing his family with the intended route of travel. When his family couldn’t get in touch with him, they contacted us and we begin our search which thankfully located him safe.”

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