Coast Guard, partner agencies continue search for missing man near Sunshine Skyway Bridge

7th Coast Guard District NewsST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Coast Guard with partner law enforcement agencies continue the search for a missing person in the water near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Saturday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg were notified by a good Samaritan at 9:33 p.m. Friday, that an unmanned 18-foot skiff was discovered circling near the center span of the Sunshine Skyway bridge.

The good Samaritan recovered two people from the water shortly after the notification, Phong Quoc Ngo, a 44 year-old-man from Tampa, and a 6 year-old-boy were discovered near the circling skiff and transferred to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at O’Neils Marina where Phong Quoc Ngo was pronounced deceased. The 6 year-old-boy was brought to Bayfront Medical and is in unknown medical condition.

A third person, Hoa Van, a 34 year-old-man from Pinellas Park, was rescued by the Coast Guard Cutter Crocodile’s small response boat and was also transferred to Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at O’Neils Marina. He is currently at Bayfront Medical and is in unknown condition.

Quang Minh Tran, a 36 year old man from Pinellas Park is reported missing.

An eight mile by eight mile search area, centered just east of the main Sunshing Skyway Bridge span is being searched by the following assets:

  • Coast Guard Station St. Petersburg 25-foot rescue boat crew
  • Coast Guard Station Cortez 45-foot and 25-foot rescue boatcrews
  • Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk Helicopter crew
  • Coast Guard Cutter Crocodile’s small response boat crew
  • FWC response boat crew
  • Hillsborough County Sheriff Department boatcrew
  • Hillsborough County Sheriff Department helicopter crew
  • Eckerd College search and rescue response crew

FWC is investigating the incident.

Editor’s Note: The Coast Guard urges¬† boaters to stay safe and use extra care while out on the water this holiday weekend.

Coast Guard and numerous local law enforcement crews will be patrolling, conducting safety checks and watching for people boating while intoxicated or operating vessels in an unsafe manner. The public should be aware of their surroundings, including watching the weather and understanding the hazards of boating under the influence of alcohol.

“Taking simple precautions before going out on the water can mean the difference between a fun, safe day on the water and ending up in a life or

death situation,” said Capt. Sheryl Dickinson, Commander of Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg. “Always check the weather, wear your lifejackets, know your boating limits, file a float plan with a friend or family member and bring emergency signaling devices with you out on the water.”

Additional information on safe and secure boating practices can be found at the Coast Guard’s Office of Boating Safety page at or by calling (800) 368-5647.

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