Coast Guard suspends search for source of multiple flares near Ponce de Leon Inlet

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. – The Coast Guard has suspended the search for the source of multiple flares reported east of New Smyrna Beach.

“Every case is different and we look at all the factors involved,” said Capt. Andy Blomme, Commander, Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville, Fla. “We have saturated the area with air and surface assets and we have had no reports of distress and our search units haven’t seen any sign of debris.”

The Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville, Fla., operations center received a call from a good Samaritan at approximately 8 p.m. Tuesday, who reported seeing two red flares in the vicinity of Ponce de Leon Inlet, Fla. An additional nine flares were also reported by Coast Guard crews on scene and good Samaritans.

The Coast Guard has received no reports of missing or overdue boaters in the area. The Coast Guard will continue to monitor marine frequencies for possible boaters in distress.

The following assets assisted in the search:

  • A 47-foot rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station Ponce de Leon Inlet
  • The crew of the Miami based 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Dolphin
  • An HU-25 fixed wing air crew from Coast Guard Air Station Miami
  • An HH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Savannah, Ga.
  • An HH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter crew from Air Station Clearwater, Fla.
  • An HC-130 Hercules aircraft and crew from Coast Guard Air Station Miami

If you have any information on the source of the flares, please call the Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville operations center at (904) 564-7512.

The Coast Guard emphasizes the importance of filling a float plan. A float plan is a simple tool every boater can leave with a loved one or friend. Filing a float plan provides rescuers with vital information such as the make and color of the vessel, the number of passengers, any and all medical conditions and the planned location of the voyage and return time.

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