Coast Guard finds 2 missing boaters near Shell Point (Fla.) Marina

d7Fort Myers Beach, Fla.— Two boaters reported missing Monday morning were found two hours later aboard their 20-foot aground sailboat near Shell Point (Florida) Marina by the Coast Guard and Lee County (Florida) Sheriff’s Office.

A friend of the two men contacted watchstanders at Coast Guard Station Fort Myers Beach at approximately 5 a.m. stating the men had left from Shell Point Marina at around 5 p.m. Sunday, and when she had not heard from the men by morning she became worried.

A Coast Guard 29-foot Response Boat-Small II boatcrew from the station was launched and found the men on the sailboat aground outside of Shell Point Marina at around 7 a.m. The boatcrew inspected the vessel and found no safety equipment on board. The men stated the sailboat was purchased to be refurbished. The sailboat did not have sails or a motor; the men were using a trolling motor attached to the sailboat to move.

“We always want boaters to be prepared for anything to happen on the water,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Grant T. Lacy. “Even short trips are dangerous without proper safety equipment required by law. There was no safety equipment a radio, lifejackets, flares, etc., that could have aided these men if the situated deteriorated.”

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