Coast Guard, agency partners searching for 71-year-old man 30 miles southwest Crystal River

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News Release  

U.S. Coast Guard 7th District PA Detachment Tampa Bay
Contact: Coast Guard PA Detachment Tampa Bay
PA Detachment Tampa Bay online newsroom

Coast Guard, agency partners searching for 71-year-old man 30 miles southwest Crystal River

                                        STOCK IMAGE: Coast Guardsmen perform maintenance on an HC-130 Hercules aircraft at Air Station Clearwater, Fla., July 3, 2013. An Air Station Clearwater HC-130 rescue crew found eight missing boaters of the coast of Honduras on July 3 after the boaters failed to arrive at their intended destination June 29. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael De Nyse
                                    Editor's Note: Click on image to download high resolution stock photo.

CRYSTAL RIVER, Fla. — The Coast Guard continues to search Thursday for a 71-year-old man 30 miles southwest Crystal River.

Missing is Ernest Bishop, from Crystal River.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg command center received a 911 relay at 10:20 p.m. Wednesday from Bishop’s wife stating he was overdue. She stated he departed Wednesday at 10 a.m from the Fort Island Trail Park aboard his 23-foot fishing boat. He was to return before sunset and was wearing a tee shirt and khaki shorts.

Watchstanders issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast, launched a 27-foot Utility Boat-Medium (UT-M) boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Yankeetown, a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium (RB-M) boatcrew from Station Sand Key and an HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Air Station Clearwater.

The Hercules aircrew spotted Bishop’s boat 15 miles south of Crystal River Thursday about 1 a.m. and the RB-M boatcrew confirmed it was unmanned and adrift.

Search crews are saturating a 1,250 square mile area west of Crystal River in search of Bishop. Partner agency personnel from Citrus County Sheriff’s Office and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission  are assisting with the search.

The Coast Guard urges all boaters to file a float plan with someone on land before venturing out on the water. Please download the Coast Guard Boating Safety APP for many safety tips and tools. 

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