Missing Fort Pierce boaters found off Jacksonville

MIAMI – The two boaters missing from the Fort Pierce, Fla., area since Sunday were located and recovered by a good Samaritan drifting approximately 65 miles east of Jacksonville, Fla., Tuesday around 1:30 p.m.

The crew of the motor vessel, Yasa Seyhan, located Vincent Faulkner and Eric Ross drifting in their disabled vessel in the waters off Jacksonville. The crew reported the two men in stable condition with no injuries or medical concerns.

A family member contacted watchstanders at Coast Guard Station Fort Pierce around 9:30 p.m. Sunday to report Faulkner and Ross departed the Black Pearl Boat Ramp in Fort Pierce at noon Sunday and had yet to return from their fishing trip.

Assisting with the search were:

* MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews from Coast Guard Air Station Miami
* HU-25 Falcon jet crews from Air Station Miami
* HC-130 Hercules air crews from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla.
* Smallboat crews from Coast Guard Station Fort Pierce
* The Coast Guard Cutters Cormorant and Bluefin from Fort Pierce
* The cutter Gannet from Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
* The cutter Shrike from Port Canaveral, Fla.

“Mr. Faulkner and Mr. Ross are two very lucky individuals as they didn’t have all their safety equipment aboard their vessel,” said Capt. Drew Pearson, Seventh Coast Guard District chief of search and rescue. “Finding them came down to the alertness of a passing merchant vessel. The lesson learned for all boaters is no matter how short the trip, ensure you have all your safety devices with you while underway.”

The Yasa Seyhan is scheduled to arrive at the Port of Jacksonville at approximately 6:30 p.m. where Faulkner and Ross will be turned over to Jacksonville Sheriff’s officers

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