Coast Guard Suspends Search for Lee Nora Fontneau

 MIAMI – The Coast Guard suspended its search at noon for the 42 year-old woman from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., after Coast Guard and the Bahamian Air Sea Rescue Association (BASRA) crews spent three days searching more than 700 square miles of ocean 90 miles east of Miami.

Lee Nora Fontneau was reported to have fallen off the 49-foot sport fisher, Due Diligence around 4:30 p.m., Tuesday. The captain anchored the vessel around 5 p.m., and the people on the vessel realized Fontneau was missing around 5:30 p.m.

Search and rescue coordinators at Coast Guard Sector Miami received a radio call around 6 p.m., from the motor vessel, Grand George, which was relaying the information from the Due Diligence about the woman falling off the yacht.

The Coast Guard immediately notified the Coast Guard Cutter Resolute and the Cormorant to begin searching the area. An HH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Miami was launched to assist in the search efforts Tuesday. The Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules aircraft along with the Resolute searched the area Wednesday and an HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter station in Autec, Bahamas, searched the area Thursday along with the Resolute crew.

It was reported to the Coast Guard that crew members on the pleasure craft were able to deploy an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) after they noticed the woman missing. The Coast Guard also deployed its own data buoy used in information gathering for the search.

” The vastness and power of the ocean again serves as a reminder of continual vigilance when venturing out into open ocean,” said Capt. J.J O’Connor, chief of search and rescue for the Seventh Coast Guard District. “While we do not know exactly what happened in this case, we do know that life jackets always help those who suddenly and unexpectedly find themselves in the water.”

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  1. MK Fontneau says:

    Lee Fontneau’s family wishes to thank all the members of the Coast Guard who tried so hard to return her to us. We appreciate all of the concern and assistance we were given at this difficult time by the men and women of the United States Coast Guard and BASRA. We would like you to know we know you did all possible to find her.
    Thank you!

  2. W. Rivera says:

    Thanks to the Coast Guard and local law enforcement for your kindness and efforts to locate our friend. We want send our condolences the family of Lee Nora “Lily” Fontneau. She is loved and greatly missed.

  3. B. Fontneau says:

    Our condolences to Aunt Beverly, Millie, June and all the cousins. We heard the news up here in Ct and have you guys in our prayers.

  4. David Bryan says:

    My name is David Bryan from Hollywood Fla. Lily is , was, and forever, will be a very good friend of mine who TRULY will be missed. She also was loved by others here on the Beach. . We are all shocked at this horrible accident. I would like to send Flowers anywhere that I can, in So if someone can call me at 954 873 1900 and give me an address, I would be very thankfull…………….Thanks Dave.