Coast Guard suspends search for missing boater

PANAMA CITY, Fla. — The Coast Guard has suspended its search for a boater missing since Sunday near Shell Island approximately 5 miles south west of Panama City, Fla.

At approximately 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 16, 2009, Coast Guard Station Panama City was contacted by an employee at the Panama City Marina reporting that the 37-foot sailing vessel Morning Star was grounded near Shell Island.

Station Panama City launched a 25-foot response boat and crew to assist the passengers of the sailing vessel. Once on scene, the Coast Guard was notified that the owner of the Morning Star, Cambren Hoyt, 45, took a small boat to shore on Shell Island. The crew searched the banks of Shell Island attempting to find Hoyt, but were unable to locate him. The response boat crew returned to the Morning Star and took the remaining two passengers, Megan Maplesoft and Larry Phelps, to the Panama City Marina.

The Coast Guard conducted multiple searches for Hoyt focusing on a 20-square-mile area, which covered Shell Island’s beaches and surrounding waterways.

The Coast Guard has searched for Hoyt with the following resources:

  • Two 25-foot response boats and crews from Coast Guard Station Panama City
  • A 41-foot utility boat and crew from Coast Guard Station Panama City
  • AN HC-144 Ocean Sentry rescue plane and crew from Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile, Ala.
  • An HH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopter and crew from ATC Mobile
  • An aids to navigation boat and crew from Aids to Navigation Team Panama City

Also participating in the search are:

  • Florida Fish and Wildlife agents
  • Tyndale Air Force Base Air Force Rescue Coordination Center personnel
  • St Andrews State Park personnel
  • Southwest Panhandle Search and Rescue canine team

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