ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Coast Guard is searching Wednesday for two missing boaters in Pensacola last seen in Gulfport.
Missing are Rhett Russenberger, 39, Joshua Rousseau, 31, both from Clearwater.
The two boaters left in a 36-foot catamaran from Gulfport Marina, Friday Aug. 5, 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 at 10:37 a.m., to report them overdue after they failed to return. A family friend of Russenberger’s reported she received a text message Friday, Aug. 5, that stated he was eight miles west of Clearwater in calm seas.
A Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, was launched at 1:15 p.m., to search a 3,183 square mile search area from Clearwater to Pensacola.
Boaters are encouraged to remain vigilant while in the area and to render aid and assistance if necessary. Anyone with information on the location of the missing boaters is encouraged to contact the U.S. Coast Guard at 727-842-7543.