Pinellas Deputies Search for Two Missing in Rough Pass-a-Grille Seas
A student from Colorado State University and a charter boat mate were unable to get back on their boat. Neither was wearing a life preserver.
PASS-A-GRILLE – A Colorado State University student and the charter boat mate who jumped in the water to save him were missing in the Pass-a-Grille channel Tuesday (March 14) evening.
Marine deputies from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office and officers from the U.S. Coast Guard and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission were searching for them.
The initial call came about 6 p.m. after the two men went missing in the water. Deputies said that 15 students from Colorado State University were on a 71-foot charter boat off Shell Key when five male students went swimming off the side of the vessel while it was anchored. Only four were able to swim back to the vessel.
While the charter captain was assisting those four, a charter mate jumped in the water to help the fifth student. Because of the wind, waves and current, they were unable to get back on the boat. Deputies said they believe the men, who were not wearing life jackets, were caught in the fast moving current.
The two missing men were not the only boaters to have difficulties with Tuesday’s rough weather.
Coast Guard officials said they had pulled seven other boaters from the water in four separate search-and-rescue calls during a 12-hour period began early Tuesday morning and ended early Tuesday afternoon.
For information about the Pinellas sheriff, go to pcsoweb.com.
Photo of sheriff’s marine unit courtesy of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
Pinellas Sheriff | U.S. Coast Guard | Fish and Wildlife | Missing Boaters | TB Reporter
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