Coast Guard suspends search for overdue boater between Cozumel and Tampa

Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft file photo

Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft file photo

MIAMI — The Coast Guard suspended its search Thursday for an overdue boater who was reported missing during transit from Cozumel, Mexico to Tampa, Florida.

Missing is Grant Neie, 74.

On Sunday, Coast Guard 7th District command center watchstanders received a report from Neie’s wife stating he was aboard the 38-foot sailing vessel, Nai’a, transiting from Cozumel to Tampa. The vessel is described as a white twinhull sailboat with blue trim and white sail.

Involved with the search were the Coast Guard Cutters Bear (WMEC-901), Charles Sexton (WPC-1108), Kathleen Moore (WPC-1109), and Seahawk (WPB-87323), crews from Stations Key West, Marathon, Islamorada, Fort Myers Beach, and Cortez, and aircraft crews from Coast Guard Air Station Miami and Clearwater. The Mexican Navy also assisted with search efforts.

“The Coast Guard’s search and rescue mission is one we take very personally, and it is never easy suspending a search,” said Lt. Cmdr. Ryan Kelley, public affairs officer for Coast Guard 7th District. “Despite our best efforts we were not able to locate Mr. Neie, or his vessel and our hearts go out to the entire family.”

The Coast Guard’s search will remain suspended pending the development of new information. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Coast Guard at 305-415-6800.

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