Coast Guard suspends search for missing man in Caloosahatchee River

Coast Guard Air Station Miami MH-65 Dolphin helicopter file photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher Parrinello.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Coast Guard has suspended the search  for a man who went missing after falling overboard in the Caloosahatchee River near Fort Myers Florida on Friday.

Missing is 37-year-old Joel Henderson.

Coast Guard crews searched a total of 11.5 hours between east of Cape Coral Bridge and west of Highway 41. Additional partner agencies include Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Fort Myers Beach Police, and Lee County Sheriff’s officers.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg received notification at approximately 8 p.m., Friday from the operator of the dinner-cruise vessel CAPT. JP, stating a male passenger fell into the water not wearing a lifejacket.

“Our sincerest condolences go out to the family and friends,” said Cmdr. Shawn Lansing, deputy commanding officer of Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg. “We ask that all mariners keep a sharp lookout while transiting the waterways in the Caloosahatchee River and to call our command center at 727-824-7534 with any reports of new information. Thank you to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Fort Myers Beach Police, and Florida Fish and Wildlife for their response and partnership throughout this challenging search.”

Coast Guard assets involved in the search:

  • 29-foot Response Boat-Small crew from Station Fort Myers Beach
  • MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew from Air Station Clearwater
  • MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Air Station Miami

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