The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the U.S. Coast Guard are looking for two Key Largo mariners who were reported overdue Sunday.
According to initial reports, three boaters left the Caribbean Club boat ramp on Thursday in a 23-foot Proline® boat. The FWC notified the U.S. Coast Guard at 4 p.m. Sunday that the boat was overdue.
At 9:30 p.m. Sunday, the U.S. Coast Guard reported that a good Samaritan had pulled one of the three missing persons from Biscayne Bay and a Miami-based Fire Rescue boat crew was taking the patient to Jackson Memorial Hospital.
The patient stated the vessel capsized Friday in a storm. He swam for help while leaving the two other boaters with the capsized boat.
At 1 p.m. Monday, the Proline vessel was found near Haulover Sandbar off of Miami. The two other mariners remained missing.
The FWC and U.S. Coast Guard search for the other two boaters remains ongoing. The U.S. Coast Guard reportedly has suspended searches in two other Keys-related boat cases from last week:
• The first case the Sheriff’s Office was made aware of is regarding John G. Gyurstak, 74, of 29546 Saratoga Ave., Big Pine Key, whose 33-foot
Fountain center console boat (named Thermocline) was found anchored with the triple Mercury® outboard engines on and at idle off Little Palm Island about 2:30 p.m. A PFD was found on board. There were no initial signs of foul play. The Sheriff’s Office Dive Team also responded in this case.
It was unclear if the Dive Team would respond on Wednesday given water conditions. The FWC is the investigating agency in the case.
• In the second case: A 2001 Dodge Ram pickup truck and boat trailer belonging to Lance Arnold Hartkopp, 56, of 29859 Overseas Highway, Big Pine Key, were found at the end of Blimp Road on Cudjoe Key by his roommate on Nov. 5. She attempted to call Hartkopp and received no answer. She then went to the Blimp Road boat ramp on Cudjoe Key, which Hartkopp often uses. The truck and trailer were both there and the truck was unlocked. Hartkopp’s cell phone was inside the truck. The roommate stated that Hartkopp is typically never on the water at night and usually returns to the boat ramp by 2 p.m. Hartkopp’s boat is described as an older, white, 20-foot Chaparral® walkaround with a black T-top and a 150 horsepower, two-stroke, Yamaha® outboard engine.
There were no signs of foul play. Anyone with any information regarding any of the above three cases should call 911, use Ch. 16 VHF if on the water, or call the FWC at 888-404-3922.