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Press Release | March 3, 2024

Coast Guard rescues 5 boaters near Marco Island

Public Affairs Detachment Tampa Bay - 305-965-4672

Editor's note: All Coast Guard Southeast imagery can be found on DVIDS, here.

CLEARWATER, Fla. — A Coast Guard Station Fort Myers Beach boat crew and Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircrew rescued five boaters, Sunday, after their 30-foot vessel suffered reported mechanical issues 23 miles southwest of Marco Island.

Missing were Juan Castro-Varela, Jorge Luis Flores-Curbelo, Jesus M. Valdes, Alberides Augusto Milan Perez, and one unidentified male.

Collier County Sheriff's Office dispatch contacted Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg watchstanders, Sunday, at approximately 9 a.m., reporting five men were overdue after departing from Island Marina, Friday, at approximately 5 a.m.

The Coast Guard aircrew spotted all five men on their disabled vessel, at approximately 1 p.m., allowing the boat crew to locate and assist the overdue mariners. The boat crew towed the disabled vessel inland and rendezvoused with one of the boater's family members, who transported the men and disabled vessel to Island Marina. 

“Sector St. Petersburg watchstanders were able to rescue the five men quickly and efficiently because they let their loved ones know where they were going, and updated them frequently with their location,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Santiago Gomez, Coast Guard Seventh District public affairs specialist. “We encourage all boaters to have a float plan and means to communicate during an emergency. In this case, constant communication with someone on land ultimately aided search and rescue personnel, providing a narrower search area, resulting in the missing men being found faster.” 

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