victim stayed with capsized vessel to try and save it
(U.S. COAST GUARD) – The Coast Guard suspended the search Tuesday for the missing boater 41-year-old Erik Rundle near Man O’ War Harbor pending new information.
Coast Guard crews and partner agencies searched more than 3,245 square miles, an area larger than Delaware.
A good Samaritan reported a capsized 12-foot inflatable vessel to Sector Key West watchstanders, Sunday, at approximately 7:45 a.m.
A man on Fleming Key flagged down the Station Key West rescue crew, at approximately 8:15 a.m., after they arrived on scene. The man reported he and Rundle capsized in their vessel Saturday night.
The reporting source swam to shore, but Rundle stayed with the capsized vessel to try and save it.
“Our sincere condolences go out to the family and friends of Erik Rundle,” said Cmdr. Todd Hartfiel, search and rescue mission coordinator, Sector Key West.
“The decision to suspend a search is never easy and is only made after careful consideration of all the available facts.”
Rescue crews a part of the search:
■ Coast Guard Air Station Miami
■ Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater
■ Coast Guard Cutter William Trump
■ Station Key West
■ Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
■ Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
■ Key West Police Department
■ Key West Fire Department
■ U.S. Navy
If anyone has information on Erik Rundle’s whereabouts, please call Sector Key West watchstanders at 305-292-8727.
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