Missing Miami Boater’s Body Found

MIAMI – The Coast Guard has ended its search after a good Samaritan located the body of the 45-year-old missing Miami boater at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday three miles east of Sands Key, Fla.

Dan Stonionis’ unmanned vessel was located by two good Samaritans off Elliott Key, Fla., Saturday still engaged. The good Samaritans managed to stop the vessel, and after going on board, located a cellular phone. They called the last number dialed and spoke with a person claiming to be Stonionis’ father.

Search and rescue crews from Coast Guard Station Miami Beach, Fla, Station Islamorada, Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla., Air Station Miami, Coast Guard Cutters Ocracoke and Gannet, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue searched more than 3,000 square miles for almost three days in an effort to locate Stonionis.

“The family and friends of Stonionis have our deepest sympathies,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Stephanie Strivens, a Coast Guard District Seven search-and-rescue controller. “After almost three days of searching we had the greatest hope of finding Stonionis alive. We are saddened that was not the case this time.”

The Cutter Ocracoke is a 100-foot patrol boat homeported in Miami.

The Cutter Gannet is an 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Dania, Fla.

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