Coast Guard suspends search for missing Apopka man

Southeastern Coast Guard News
ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. — The U.S. Coast Guard and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission suspended their active searches Sunday for the Apopka, Fla., man who never returned from a fishing trip as expected Wednesday night.

Missing is Bernardo Enrique Rubio Hernandez.

Coast Guard crews scoured roughly 13,000 square miles, an area larger than the state of Maryland, from Cape Canaveral, Fla., to Jacksonville, Fla.

The Coast Guard, FWC and Volusia County Sheriff’s Office crews searched the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean by air and water since Hernandez was reported missing but have found no sign of Hernandez or his 14-foot boat.

The combined search efforts were suspended at 8:36 p.m. Sunday.

Coast Guard search efforts were coordinated by watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville in Atlantic Beach, Fla. Coast Guard crews involved in the search were: boatcrews from Coast Guard Station Ponce de Leon Inlet in New Smyrna Beach, Fla.; Coast Guard Station Port Canaveral in Cape Canaveral, Fla.; Coast Guard Station Mayport in Atlantic Beach; aircrews from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla; and Coast Guard Air Station Miami; the crew of the Atlantic Beach-based 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Kingfisher; and a Savannah, Ga., based Coast Guard Auxiliary aircrew.
The Coast Guard, FWC and VCSO, as well as the Volusia County Beach Patrol and the New Smyrna Beach Police Department coordinated efforts during the response.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Mr. Hernandez during this incredibly difficult time,” said Sector Jacksonville Commander, Capt. Tom Allan. “The decision to suspend a search takes extreme consideration and is one of the most difficult decisions a Coast Guardsman is ever faced with.”

Although the active search is suspended, the agencies will be on the lookout for any signs of Hernandez or his boat during routine air and water patrols. Anyone who has any information about this incident should call the FWC at 888-404-3922.

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