The Coast Guard suspended its search Thursday for a Colorado man in the water near Alligator Point.
Coast Guard air and boat crews searched more than 5,862 square-nautical miles over the course of four days but were unable to locate Darren Peterson, a 46-year-old man from Montrose, Colorado.
"On behalf of the Coast Guard, it's our solemn duty to report the search for Mr. Darren Peterson has been suspended." said Lt. Cmdr. Corrie Sergent, the search and rescue mission coordinator at Coast Guard Sector Mobile. "We diligently searched with our pilots, boat forces, cutter crews and partner agencies in the water, in the air, and on land but, unfortunately, were unable to locate him.
"The decision to suspend a search is never easy and our thoughts go out to Mr. Peterson’s family and friends during this incredibly difficult time," she said.
Peterson has been missing since Sunday after he and two crew members were aboard a cabin cruiser that sank off the coast of Alligator Point.
The "Old School," a 49-foot Cary Marine cabin cruiser en route to New Orleans via the Intracoastal Waterway, went down on Sunday sometime before 6 p.m. about four miles south of Alligator Point.
On Monday, the Coast Guard recovered the body of Wallace Rogers, 62, of Little Rock, Arkansas, and rescued Beaumon Rogers, 60, of Madisonville, Louisiana, who was transported to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital.
Rebekah Nelson, an FWC spokeswoman, said Peterson bought the boat up north, and then left the Hudson River heading to their destination in Louisiana.
On Saturday, shortly before 10 a.m. the Old School left Crystal River for Louisiana, based on tracking done by a family member. The boat had departed from Cape Canaveral a few days prior to that, and then rounded the Florida peninsula.
"We also did have cell phone forensics that let us know about the time where we had planned when the vessel went into distress on Sunday evening," Sergent told a Tallahassee television station.
Sergent said Beaumon Rogers, recovering at TMH, has been helping the Coast Guard narrow its coverage of search area..
The FWC discovered the partially submerged 49-foot vessel about 6 p.m. Sunday, and the two agencies began their search.
"When the vessel reached the area south of Alligator Point, it experienced mechanical failure and began to sink, causing all three occupants to enter the water," said Nelson.
The Coast Guard used several helicopter and two boat crews during the search for Peterson. Taking part were Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-65 Dolphin Helicopter aircrew, Aviation Training Center Mobile HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircrew, and MH-60 Jayhawk Helicopter aircrew; Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk Helicopter aircrew; and Guard Station Panama City 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crew; and the Coast Guard Cutters Gannet, Benjamin Dailey and Manowar crews.