Coast Guard responds to missing person reported near Sunshine Skywy

7th Coast Guard District News
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Coast Guard is responding to a report of a missing person in the water in the Tampa Bay near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Friday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg were notified by a good Samaritan at 9:33 p.m. Friday, that an unmanned 18-foot skiff was discovered circling near the center span of the Sunshine Skyway bridge.

The good Samaritan brought two people aboard his vessel, discovered near the circling skiff. A third person was recovered by the Coast Guard Cutter Crocodile’s small response boat and transferred to a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) response boat. An additional person is still reported missing.

Searching are:

  • Coast Guard Station St. Petersburg 25-foot rescue boat crew
  • Coast Guard Station Cortez 25-foot rescue boat crew
  • Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk Helicopter crew
  • Coast Guard Cutter Crocodile’s small response boat crew
  • FWC response boat crew
  • Hillsborough County Sheriff Department boatcrew
  • Eckard College search and rescue response crew

FWC is investigating the incident.

Editor’s Note:
As the Memorial Day weekend approaches the Coast Guard urges boaters to stay safe and use extra care while out on the water.

Coast Guard and numerous local law enforcement crews will be patrolling, conducting safety checks and watching for people boating while intoxicated or operating vessels in an unsafe manner. The public should be aware of their surroundings, including watching the weather and understanding the hazards of boating under the influence of alcohol.

“Taking simple precautions before going out on the water can mean the difference between a fun, safe day on the water and ending up in a life or death situation,” said Capt. Sheryl Dickinson, Commander of Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg. “Always check the weather, wear your lifejackets, know your boating limits, file a float plan with a friend or family member and bring emergency signaling devices with you out on the water.”

Additional information on safe and secure boating practices can be found at the Coast Guard’s Office of Boating Safety page at http://www.uscgboating.org/ or by calling (800) 368-5647.

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