Coast Guard Searching For Missing Boater

HERNANDO BEACH, Fla. – The Coast Guard, along with state and local agencies, have been searching the Gulf of Mexico for a missing boater about one mile north of Hernando Beach, Fla., since about 12 p.m. yesterday.

Officers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) found an unmanned, white, 17-foot flats boat at about 12 p.m. today, with the keys in the ignition and the battery dead, along with various personal effects on board.

Further investigation found that the boat’s owner Michael Curl, 50, of Hernando Beach, had left the Hernando Beach docks Wednesday morning for a fishing trip.

A Coast Guard Station Sand Key 25-foot response boat, a Coast Guard Air Station HH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter and a C-130 search plane, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, Lee County Sheriff’s Office marine and air units, along with FWC, are searching the area for Curl.

It is unknown as to whether he was wearing a life jacket.

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