Coast Guard searching for two missing boaters near Pine Island

24 foot Special Purpose Craft - Shallow Water

Coast Guard 24 foot Special Purpose Craft – Shallow Water File Photo

YANKEETOWN, Fla. — The Coast Guard is searching Saturday for two missing boaters near Pine Island, Hernando County.

Missing are James Hansen, 29, from Weeki Wachee, and Tyler Gomez, 27.

At 8:30 a.m. Saturday Coast Guard Station Yankeetown watchstanders received a call from James Hansen’s finance, Jessica Honovik, reporting the two men left from Pine Island boat ramp to fish Friday morning, but did not return. The men were due back Friday night.

A Station Yankeetown 24-foot Special Purpose Craft-Shallow Water boatcrew, a Coast Guard Auxiliary aircraft crew and a Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew were launched to search for the missing boaters.

At 10:38 a.m. the Auxiliary aircraft crew located the boaters’ 14-foot boat anchored three miles north of Pine Island boat ramp. Hernando County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit arrived on scene to the boat and reported no one was aboard.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Hernando County Sheriff’s Office are assisting in the search.

The Coast Guard urges mariners to keep a sharp lookout and requests anyone with information about the missing boaters contact Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg at 727-824-7506 or via VHF-FM marine band radio channel 16.

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