Coast Guard Sector Key West and partner agencies continue search for missing man

Southeastern Coast Guard NewsMIAMI — Coast Guard crewmembers continue the search for Mark Polaschek, 49, who was reported missing after not returning to Manatee Bay Friday.

Coast Guard Sector Key West, Fla., received a report of an overdue vessel late Friday evening after Polaschek failed to return.

Polaschek went on a voyage aboard a 26-foot sailing vessel, Mrs Big, alone to an unknown location. After not returning at sunset, an acquaintance of Polaschek reported his absence to Coast Guard Sector Key West.

Multiple Coast Guard air and surface assets were launched to search for the sailing vessel in partnership with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and the National Park Service.

Later, a crew aboard a Coast Guard Air Station Miami helicopter located Polaschek’s vessel adrift in the mangroves.

After locating the vessel, a rescue swimmer aboard the Coast Guard helicopter was hoisted down to the boat and discovered the vessel to be abandoned with only a few personal items onboard.

“Since Friday night, we have searched aggressively and continue to search,” said Capt. Aylwyn S. Young, Coast Guard Sector Key West commander. “We are fortunate to have strong interagency relationships, as we have searched alongside the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the National Park Service.”

If you have any information regarding this case, please call Coast Guard Sector Key West at 305-292-8726.

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