Coast Guard searching for missing boater near Anclote Key

PORT RICHEY, Fla. – The Coast Guard is searching for a missing boater who did not return from a fishing trip near Anclote Key, Fla., Aug. 17.

A family member contacted search-and-rescue coordinators at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg, Fla., at about 6 p.m. Aug. 17, reporting that Mark Portus, a 49-year-old man from New Port Richey, departed the Pithlachascotee River, in Port Richey, on a 22-foot fishing boat at about 9 a.m. and had not returned.

The Coast Guard immediately launched a 25-foot rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station Sand Key, in Clearwater, Fla., and an HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater to search for Portus.

A crewmember from Sea Tow Services International Inc., discovered Portus’s boat aground with the engine running with no one onboard at about 7:30 p.m. on a sandbar near the north end of Anclote Key.

Also assisting in the search are members from:

  • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
  • Pasco County Sheriff’s Department

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