Coast Guard suspends search for missing boater near Sanibel Island

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Coast Guard suspended its active search at approximately 4 p.m., Friday, for a missing 58-year-old male who disappeared while possibly boating off Sarasota, Fla., late Monday evening.

Coast Guard Station Cortez received notification from the Sarasota County Deputy dispatch, Tuesday, that Christopher J. Macquarrie, a resident of Siesta Key, Fla., was reported as missing after failing to return from his snorkeling trip.

A friend of the missing man called the sheriff’s department stating that she had received a voice message from Macquarrie saying he was going to do some snorkeling and planned to return by approximately 8:30 p.m., Monday.

A Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk rescue crew was conducting a routine patrol when they spotted an unmanned boat matching the description of Macquarrie’s 26-foot pleasure craft, at approximately 11:06 a.m., 38 miles west of Sanibel Island, Wednesday.

Crews from the Coast Guard, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), as well as the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Department and other local emergency responders searched approximately 9, 444 square miles and approximately 80.5 hours for Macquarrie.

Searching were:

  • Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla., MH-60 Jayhawk Helicopter rescue crew
  • Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater HC-130 Hercules rescue crew
  • A rescue crew from the Coast Guard Cutter Marlin, an 87-foot patrol boat from Fort Myers Beach, Fla.
  • Coast Guard Station Fort Myers Beach 33-foot Special Purpose Craft – Law Enforcement boat crew
  • Coast Guard Station Cortez 25-foot response boat crew
  • A rescue crew from the Coast Guard Cutter Dolphin, an 87-foot patrol boat from Miami Beach, Fla.
  • Coast Guard Auxiliary Air

“The Coast Guard extends its deepest condolences to Mr. Macquarrie’s family and friends,” said Capt. Sheryl Dickinson, Commander of Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg.

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