Coast Guard Suspends Search for Two Missing Boaters

FT. MYERS, Fla. – The Coast Guard suspended the two-day search for two missing boaters in the vicinity of Boca Grande Pass, in Boca Grande, Fla., at 7:43 p.m. today.

The Coast Guard, along with state and local agencies, have been searching for the two boaters since about 8:00 a.m. yesterday when Coast Guard Station Ft. Myers Beach, in Ft. Myers, Fla., received a call from 911 at about 7:45 a.m. reporting that a 15-foot pleasure craft with four people on board ran aground and began taking on water near Boca Grande Pass at about 9 p.m. Saturday.

At the time of the incident, one of the men was able to use a seat cushion from the vessel as a flotation device to swim to shore and call 911. Another man clung to the hull of the vessel and was rescued by officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) at 8:23 a.m. yesterday. Both men were taken to Englewood Hospital in Englewood, Fla.

The Coast Guard, along with surface and air units from FWC, Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, and land units from Boca Grande Fire and Rescue searched a 250-square-mile area from Red Fish Pass to Stump Pass for more than 60 hours, but were unable to locate the two missing boaters.

FWC is investigating the incident.

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