Coast Guard suspends search for 74-year-old man near Big Pine Key

MIAMI — The Coast Guard suspended its search for a missing 74-year-old man near Big Pine Key, Thursday.

Missing is John Gyurtsak, last seen in his 34-foot pleasure craft, Thermocline, departing from Big Pine Key, Monday prior to 2 p.m.

“We have made the difficult decision to suspend our search,” said Cmdr. Blanca Rosas, search and rescue mission coordinator with Coast Guard Sector Key West . “The decision to suspend a search is never an easy one as our hope is to be able to reunite people with their family and friends. We would like to extend our gratitude to our partner agencies with FWC, the U.S. Navy and Monroe County Sheriff’s Office for their help in searching.”

Sector Key West watchstanders received a report from Gyurtsak’s friend stating he was overdue after failing to meet him Tuesday at 9 a.m. A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission marine unit located Gyurtsak’s boat anchored with the engine running approximately 1 mile south of Big Pine Key.

Crews from Coast Guard Stations Key West and Marathon, the Coast Guard Cutters Raymond Evans and Pelican, Coast Guard Air Stations Clearwater and Miami, along with U.S. Navy helicopter crews, FWC marine and dive units, and Monroe County Sheriff’s Office searched for nearly 62 hours covering an area of more than 2,280 square miles, which is roughly the size of Delaware.

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