Coast Guard crews locate person in the water

30-637994PONCE DE LEON INLET, Fla. — The Coast Guard located a person in the water Sunday night approximately 22 miles off the coast of Ponce de Leon Inlet.

Donnie Clark, a 45-year-old man, was found alive and in stable condition.

Coast Guardsmen aboard a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium from Station Ponce de Leon Inlet located Clark and pulled him aboard their boat. Clark was taken to Station Ponce de Leon Inlet where he was be transferred to EMS for medical evaluation.

Clark was reported missing earlier Sunday afternoon while on a boat ride with three other people.

Coast Guard crews covered a total search area of 500 square miles before locating Clark.

“We are very happy to have located Mr. Clark and be able to reunite him with his loved ones,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Jeanne Prout, an operations specialist in the Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville command center. “Rescuing survivors is what we always strive for during missions such as this one.”

Watchstanders in the Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville command center were notified of the situation at 4:11 p.m., by the operator of the 33-foot boat Instigator, via VHF Channel 16. The initial report stated Clark was on a “bean bag” being towed by the boat. The three others aboard reported losing sight of him during their transit.

Assets involved in this search included two RBM’s from Station Ponce de Leon Inlet, the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Kingfisher from Mayport, Fla., a crew aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla., and an HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane from Coast Guard Air Station Miami.

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