Coast Guard suspends search for missing Naples, Fla. boater

45 Foot Response BoatST. PETERSBURG, Fla. —The Coast Guard has suspended the search for a missing boater in Naples, Florida, Tuesday.

The search for Robert J. Poissant, 54, of Naples, was suspended at 4 p.m. Tuesday following nearly three days of searching in Gordan’s Pass and surrounding waters.

At 10:40 p.m., Saturday, watchstanders from Coast Guard Station Fort Myers Beach, Florida, received a Marine Emergency Response Team activation of a woman reporting a she had reached the shore after swimming for approximately four hours after her boyfriend, Poissant, and their 22-foot boat had disappeared. Neither of them had been wearing life jackets.

At 11:01 p.m. a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boatcrew from the station and a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter rescue crew from Air Station Clearwater, Florida were launched and commenced the search.

At 11:35 p.m. Collier County Marine units reported founding the missing boat.

“Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of Robert,” said Cdr. Randall Brown, acting commander of Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg. “We have made the difficult decision to suspend our search, pending amplifying information. Our men and women searched diligently along side numerous agencies for nearly three days, and despite our best efforts we were unable to rescue him.”

Coast Guard rescue crews involved in the search covered more than 3,455 square nautical miles during 16 separate searches since Saturday.

Search and rescue crews included personnel from:

  • Coast Guard Station Fort Myers Beach
  • Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater
  • Coast Guard Air Station Miami
  • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
  • Collier County Sheriff’s Office
  • Naples Police Department
  • Naples Fire Department

Collier County Sheriff’s Office is leading the investigation

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