Missing boater found safe by Coast Guard
Fort Pierce, Fl- A boater missing since Tuesday has been found safe according to the Martin County Sheriff’s Office.
Justin Skiff, 29, went fishing on a 14-foot aluminum skiff Tuesday morning at 6 a.m. and never returned, the sheriff’s office said.
Coast Guard crews found the skiff, which reportedly ran out of gas, about nine miles southeast of Fort Pierce.
A Coast Guard Air Station Miami MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew located the 14-foot skiff and hoisted the boater, who reportedly ran out of gas, while a Coast Guard Station Fort Pierce 33-foot Special Purpose Craft—Law Enforcement boat crew towed the boat back to the station.
At approximately 8:44 p.m., Tuesday, Coast Guard Sector Miami watchstanders received notification from the mother of an overdue boater who left from Sandspirit Park Boat Ramp that morning, and was supposed to return at 7 p.m.
Coast Guard Sector Miami watchstanders directed the launch of Coast Guard Stations Lake Worth Inlet and Fort Pierce 33-foot Special Purpose Craft—Law Enforcement crews, diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Cochito (WPB-87329) crew, and Coast Guard 7th District watchstanders directed the launch of an Air Station Miami MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew and HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew to search.
“Once our Seventh District and Sector Miami watchstanders received the call, they diligently coordinated and planned out the multiple asset launches and search patterns that led to the rescue of the missing boater,” said Capt. Dan Jones, deputy commander at Sector Miami. “The boater himself also contributed to the success of the mission by making a float plan which lets people know your schedule so they can alert the Coast Guard in a timely manner if it isn’t adhered to. We also want to remind boaters to make sure they have the necessary safety equipment including EPIBRs, flares and VHF radios. Above all else, look out for each other. If you see suspicious activity, report it. You may save a life.”