The U.S. Coast Guard Monday called off its search for a Miami man who was last seen leaving Marathon in the Middle Florida Keys on a personal watercraft more than a week earlier.
Coast Guard sea and air crews had too little information to go on to continue their search for Carlos Garcia-Cruz, 52, said Petty Officer Jonathan Lally, spokesman for the agency. Lally said crews had to search both the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico side of the Keys because they did not know where Garcia-Cruz was heading when he left Marathon.
“This didn’t help us narrow down where we needed to look,” Lally said.
Garcia-Cruz left Marathon on Saturday, Dec. 22, and was expected to return on Christmas Eve, his girlfriend told the Coast Guard when she reported him missing last Wednesday.
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Lally said the incident should serve as a reminder to mariners to file a “float plan” with the Coast Guard before embarking on any significant boat trip. They can be filed using the Coast Guard’s smartphone app, Lally said.
“It tells rescuers the time and day of departure and where you left from, the route, as well as the destination and the expected time of arrival and the destination of where you’re planning on coming back to,” Lally said.