ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Coast Guard and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) continues to search Tuesday for an Ocala boater reported missing off Horseshoe Beach.
Mitchell Szegi, 47, departed in a 22-foot fishing boat at noon Sunday from Horseshoe Beach and was scheduled to return Sunday night according to his wife.
Watch standers at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg received the overdue report and started the search at about 3:45 p.m. Monday. A crew member aboard an HC-130 Hercules airplane from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater spotted a boat at 8:52 a.m. Tuesday matching the description of Szegi’s approximately 40 miles south of Carrabelle. A good Samaritan in the area contacted watch standers and volunteered to investigate the boat. The good Samaritan reported the boat was in gear but disabled and adrift with no one aboard. Watch standers confirmed the boat belongs to Szegi.
Search crews continue to search a 6,000-square-mile area.
Searching Tuesday are:
- An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Clearwater
- A 27-foot Response Boat–Small boat crew from Coast Guard Station Yankeetown
- An HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Air Station Clearwater
- Search and rescue crews from FWC
Boaters are encouraged to remain vigilant while in the area and to render aid and assistance if necessary. Anyone with information on Szegi’s location is encouraged to contact the U.S. Coast Guard at 727-824-7543.