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Press Release | Feb. 20, 2024

Coast Guard suspends search for 4 missing men off Venice

Public Affairs Detachment Tampa Bay - 305-965-4672

CLEARWATER, Fla. — The Coast Guard suspended the search for four men missing off the coast of Venice, Monday, at approximately 8 p.m., pending new information.

Missing are 38-year-old Angel Hernandez-Munoz, 54-year-old Ruben Mora Sr., 37-year-old Julio Cesar Cordero-Briones, and 35-year-old Alfonso Vargas-Parra.

Venice Police Department dispatch contacted Coast Guard Station Cortez watchstanders, Sunday, at approximately 9 a.m., reporting four men were overdue after launching from Marina Park and Boat Ramp the previous day.

"We offer our deepest condolences to the loved ones of the missing men,” said, Lt. Cmdr. Dana W. Grady, a search and rescue mission coordinator for Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg. "One of the hardest decisions to make during a search is a suspension. No two cases are ever the same, which makes each case challenging on its own.” 

"Using all available information, our focus is to saturate the area as quickly as possible using all available Coast Guard and partner agency crews," said Capt. Michael P. Kahle, commander of Sector St. Petersburg. "What we strive for in our search is to thoroughly and completely cover the search area. The faster we receive the information about where someone is supposed to be, the faster we can execute a thorough search. I want to thank all of our crews for providing such a quick and thorough search. This was an immense search area, and their ability to quickly deploy so many search teams is a testament to their commitment to our community and our boating public."

Crews searched for about 60 hours covering approximately 10,345 square nautical miles, about the size of Massachusetts.

Crews involved in the search included:

  • Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater 
  • Coast Guard Air Station Miami 
  • Coast Guard Station Cortez
  • Coast Guard Station Fort Myers Beach
  • Coast Guard Cutter Diamondback
  • Coast Guard Cutter Crocodile
  • Coast Guard Cutter Pablo Valent
  • Venice Police Department
  • Venice Fire Department
  • Sarasota Police Department
  • Sarasota Fire Department
  • Sarasota Sheriff’s Office
  • Charlotte County Sherrif’s Office
  • Lee County Sheriff’s Office
  • Manatee County Sheriff’s Office
  • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
  • Sea Tow Venice

The Coast Guard is reminding all mariners to practice safe boating by checking the weather before going out, always wearing a lifejacket, having a float plan, having a working VHF radio on board, and having a registered emergency position indicating locator beacon.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of the four men, please contact the Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg command center at 866-881-1392.

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