ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Two boaters who were reported overdue were located by the Coast Guard Wednesday 35 miles south of Carrabelle.
Rhett Russenberger and Joshua Rousseau departed Friday in a 36-foot catamaran from Gulfport Marina and were scheduled to arrive at Palafox Marina in Pensacola no later than Tuesday morning. A concerned family member contacted watch standers at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg Wednesday at 10:37 a.m. to report them overdue.
A Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater launched at 1:15 p.m. to search from Clearwater to Pensacola when the aircrew spotted the two boaters at approximately 5 p.m. Wednesday.
“They were not in distress: the trip was just taking longer than expected,” said Richard Hutchinson, command duty officer at Sector St. Petersburg. “I’m glad both Mr. Russenberger and Mr. Rousseau are safe, and we have a positive outcome for this case. It’s important to note, if you file a float plan with your friends and family but deviate from the plan, we recommend you have proper marine radio equipment aboard, so you can alert emergency assets of your new plan.”