ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.— The Coast Guard is searching for a 78-year old man in the water 15 miles northwest of Anclote Key, Florida, Sunday.
Missing is Arthur Velasco, 78, from Treasure Island, Florida.
At 5 a.m. watchstanders from Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg received a call via VHF-FM marine band radio channel 16 from Alan Schaller from Inglis, Florida aboard a 32-foot sail boat. Schaller was unable to recover Velasco from the water after Velasco had fallen off the sailboat. Velasco entered the water without a life jacket.
An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Florida, and a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Sand Key, Florida, were launched to commence the search.
At 7:38 a.m. the RB-M crew located sailboat and confirmed the time and position where Velasco entered the water. Using the on-board GPS, crewmembers confirmed Velasco fell overboard at 3:40 a.m.
An HC-130 Hercules from the air station and the Coast Guard Cutter Tarpon, homeported in St. Petersburg are also aiding in the search.
The Coast Guard asks the public to keep a sharp lookout and contact Coast Guard watchstanders at (727) 824-7506 with any information regarding the whereabouts of Velasco.