Missing Sebastian Inlet boaters found, Coast Guard ends search

MIAMI — The Coast Guard closed its search at 2:20 p.m. Saturday for two boaters who failed to return from their boating trip off Sebastian Inlet, Fla., after the boaters were located by the Indian River Police Department.

The father of Kyle Simms, age and hometown unknown, advised the Coast Guard that his other son received a call from Simms and J.C. Palmer, age and hometown unknown, stating their vessel had become disabled nine nautical miles southeast of Sebastian Inlet. The brother took his own boat with a spare battery to assist Palmer and Simms. After repairs were made, he departed and was to meet Palmer and Simms at their departure location, but Palmer and Simms failed to return.

The Coast Guard and state and local agencies immediately launched assets to conduct a search and at approximately 1 p.m., Indian River Police Department officials located the missing vessel with Simms aboard. Simms stated that they had become disabled again in the Indian River and Palmer jumped in the water and attempted to swim to shore. Simms’ vessel drifted overnight before being located.

Palmer was then recovered from the water at approximately 2:20 p.m. by Indian River Police Department officials in the Intercoastal Waterway two miles south of Sebastian Inlet. He was transferred to awaiting EMS in stable condition.

Coast Guard assets searching were:

  • An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Miami
  • An HU-25 Falcon jet crew from Air Station Miami
  • Two boatcrews from Station Fort Pierce, Fla.
  • A boatcrew from Station Port Canaveral, Fla.
  • A Coast Guard Auxiliary aircrew

Also searching was:

  • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
  • Indian River Police Department

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