Coast Guard Suspends Search for Missing Boater

BAYPORT, Fla. – The Coast Guard suspended the search for Lindsay Forde, 56, of Hollywood, Fla., at about 10:30 a.m. today.

Coast Guard rescue crews began searching an area in the Gulf of Mexico about 75-miles west of Bayport, Fla., Saturday at 7:25 p.m., after receiving a call from Michael Swindle, 56, of Tampa, Fla., the owner of the 46-foot vessel Extra Labor, reporting that Forde, the captain of the vessel, was missing. According to Swindle, Swindle had gone below deck and when he went topside again Forde had disappeared.

According to his report, Swindle, an inexperienced boater, had purchased the Extra Labor and hired Forde to pilot the vessel from Houston, Texas, to St. Petersburg, Fla. The men were en route from Pensacola, Fla., to St. Petersburg when Forde was reported missing.

Since Saturday, the Coast Guard has deployed 12 assets and has searched a combined total of 4,706-square miles for about 68 search hours with no sign of Forde.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of Lindsay Forde,” said Lt. Cmdr. Chris O’Neil, public affairs officer for the Seventh Coast Guard District in Miami. “We have suspended our active search pending further developments, meaning if new information comes to light we would consider resuming our search. But at this time, we are confident that if Forde was in the area we searched, we would have found him.”

The Extra Labor will be brought from Crystal River, Fla., to the Tampa, Fla., area at the owner’s disgression.

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