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Press Release | June 27, 2024

Coast Guard suspends search for missing paddleboarder near Miami

MIAMI – The Coast Guard suspended the search for a missing paddleboarder near Miami, Thursday, pending new information.  

Missing is 29-year-old Luciano Mercenari, who was reported overdue to Coast Guard Sector Miami command center at approximately 9:30 p.m. Monday.  

Coast Guard Sector Miami watchstanders received a report that Mercenari went paddleboarding near his residence in Biscayne Bay and did not return at sundown as expected. He was reported to be wearing a white long-sleeve shirt and gray shorts.  

Coast Guard Sector Miami watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and launched surface and air crews to conduct searches alongside state and local partner agencies. Additionally, the Coast Guard released a picture of Mercenari and his paddleboard to alert the public and media to be on the lookout and contact the Coast Guard with any information.  

A good Samaritan located the paddleboard and a waterproof gear bag approximately 4 miles off Haulover Inlet on Tuesday morning and reported their findings to the Coast Guard on Tuesday evening, after recognizing the paddleboard they found was related to this case.  

"Suspending an active search and rescue case is never an easy decision, and so it is with heavy hearts that we offer our sincere condolences to Mr. Mercenari’s family and friends,” said Capt. Chris Cederholm, commanding officer, Coast Guard Sector Miami. “We are grateful to our local and state partners for their assistance in this united effort.”  

Rescue crews searched approximately 2,219 square miles, an area about the size of the state of Delaware, and approximately 67 asset hours.

On-scene weather conditions during the search were 10 to 20-knot winds with calm seas.  

Search and rescue crews involved in the efforts included:  

  • Coast Guard Air Station Miami

  • Coast Guard Station Miami Beach  

  • Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale 

  • Coast Guard Cutter Paul Clark (WPC 1106)  

  • Coast Guard Cutter Flying Fish (WPB 87346)  

  • Coast Guard Investigative Service  

  • Miami-Dade Fire Department  

  • Miami-Dade Police Department  

  • Key Biscayne Police Department  

  • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission  

Anyone with new information, please call Coast Guard Sector Miami: 305-535-4300.  

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