Coast Guard suspends search for missing Port Charlotte man

USCG File Photo

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. – After an extensive, multi-agency search of an area encompassing more than 47 square miles, the search for a missing man who went overboard a small boat near Boca Grande, Fla., was suspended at 9:52 p.m. Friday.

Missing is Terry Reid, 35, from Port Charlotte, Fla

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Station Fort Myers Beach received notification from a bystander at a waterside restaurant in Boca Grande reporting that two people had gone overboard from a 17-foot recreational vessel, after being hit by a rogue wave, at 11:16 a.m., Friday. Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg watchstanders directed the launch of a Fort Myers Beach 33-foot Special Purpose Craft – Law Enforcement Boat crew, and an Air Station Clearwater, Fla., MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew.

Crews arrived onscene at 11:40 a.m., and began searching for Reid, who was reportedly not wearing a lifejacket.

The two additional persons who had been in the vessel, Anthony Jackson of North Port, Fla., and his eight year-old son, were taken to shore by a good Samaritan.

Along with the Coast Guard, marine units from Lee County and Charlotte County Sheriff’s Departments, the Cape Coral Police Department, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) also assisted in the search.

“We have conducted an exhaustive search of the area using helicopters and surface craft from both the Coast Guard and numerous state agencies. Based on this significant search effort, we believe we would have located the missing man if he were still on the surface. We are suspending our active search pending further developments,” said Capt. Sheryl Dickinson, Commander, Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg. “Our sympathies are with the loved ones of Mr. Reid. Unfortunately, this case stands as a tragic example of why the Coast Guard stresses the importance of wearing life jackets, particularly if you are not a strong swimmer.”

Assets and agencies involved in the search for Reid include:

  • Two MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla.
  • Two 33-foot Special Purpose Craft – Law Enforcement Boat crews from Coast Guard Station Fort Myers Beach, Fla.
  • Lee County Sheriff’s Department helicopter and marine units
  • A rescue-boat crew from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
  • Charlotte County Sheriff’s Department helicopter and marine units
  • Marine unit from Cape Coral Police Department

The FWC is investigating the incident.

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