Coast Guard suspends search for missing Everglades Challenge boater

ST.PETERSBURG, Fla.— The Coast Guard suspended its search for a missing mariner Thursday, who was participating in the Water Tribe Everglades Challenge.

Missing is Jim Slauson, 73, from St. Petersburg.

Coast Guard assets and other agencies who responded included:

  • Coast Guard Station Ft. Myers Beach 45-foot Response Boat-Medium
  • Coast Guard Cutter Diamondback (WPB-87370)
  • Coast Guard Cutter Pelican (WPB-87327)
  • Coast Guard Cutter Charles David, Jr. (WPC 1107)
  • Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater HC-130J
  • Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk
  • Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144A Ocean Sentry
  • Coast Guard Auxiliary Air Patrol
  • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
  • Collier County Sheriff’s Office

Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg command center received a report Monday from the son that his father was off-track of the organized event path. His last personal tracking device check-in was reported Monday at 7:24 a.m.

A Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater HC-130J aircrew located his blue, 17-foot Core Sound sailing vessel Monday evening. A Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew found no one aboard.

“Suspending a search and rescue case is one of the toughest parts of the job,” said Capt. Matthew Thompson, commander of Sector St. Petersburg. “Our thoughts are with the family during this difficult time.”

Since the search began on Monday, Coast Guard air and surface units conducted over 46 searches covering more than 9,772 square nautical miles.

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