Coast Guard suspends search for man missing west of Stump Pass Beach State Park

Coast Guard HC-130 file photo

Coast Guard HC-130 file photo

ENGLEWOOD, Fla. – Coast Guard crews suspended their search Wednesday at 6:45 p.m. for a missing a 50-year-old man 20 miles west of Stump Pass Beach State Park.

Missing is Todd Battaglino, from Venice.

Coast Guard crews and partner agencies searched a combined total of 98 hours, and covered 3,860 square miles in search of Battaglino. Partner agency personnel from Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, Charlotte County Sheriff Office, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and marine units from the Venice Police Department assisted with the search.

“Throughout our search efforts we’ve been in contact with the Battaglino family and we know this is a very difficult time for them,” said Capt. Holly Najarian, Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg’s commander. “Suspending a search is the most difficult decision I have to make in my position and despite our best efforts we were unable find Mr. Battaglino.”

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg command center received a 911 relay at 1:20 p.m. Tuesday from the FWC stating Battaglino was overdue. A family member stated Battaglino departed Monday at 5:30 p.m. from the Royal Palm Marina aboard his 18-foot fishing boat.

An aircrew aboard an HC-130 Hercules airplane from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater spotted Battaglino’s boat 16 miles west of Stump Pass Beach State Park at 6:02 p.m. Tuesday and a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crew from Coast Guard Station Cortez confirmed it was unmanned and adrift.

Crewmembers aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Tarpon (WPB-87310), an 87-foot Coast Patrol Boat homeported in St. Petersburg, also supported in the search.

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