BRADENTON, Fla. (WFLA) –The U.S. Coast Guard Sector in St. Petersburg suspended the search Sunday for missing boater.
Fraser Horne, 63, and his golden retriever, Toula, were reported missing after their boat was found near Bradenton.
A good Samaritan found Toula alive in Fort De Soto Saturday morning, but Horne is still missing.
Horne is a native of Cortez. His 30-foot boat “Golden Rush” was found about five miles northwest of Bradenton off Mead Point.
His wife contacted the Coast Guard Friday night saying her husband had not returned home after leaving from Egmont Key.
Crews found his boat around 11:15 p.m. with the engines on. The boat was in neutral, and crews found a wallet, keys and shoes inside.
“Search crews completed 30 search patterns covering approximately 2,192 square miles over a 65 hour period,” The Coast Guard said.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, Holmes Beach Police Department and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission all assisted in the search.
“Suspending a search is the most difficult decision I have to make and our thoughts and prayers go out to Horne’s family and friends,” said Capt. Holly Najarian, Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg commander. “Despite our best efforts, we were unable to reunite Fraser with his family.”
An investigation into the incident is ongoing.
“Toula, our Golden retriever is at home in good health and I would like to thank the good Samaritan who found her Friday night,” said Michele Horne, Fraser’s wife. “I also would like to thank the Coast Guard and the many other rescue agencies who searched for Fraser. This is an emotionally difficult time and we ask everyone to respect our family and friends privacy while we grieve for Fraser.”