Vero Beach boaters ‘lucky’ to be found safe

JACKSONVILLE — An alert crewman on a passing merchant vessel is the one who found the two missing Vero Beach boaters Tuesday afternoon, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. The men are expected to arrive at the Port of Jacksonville around 6:30 p.m. when the Yasa Seyhan docks. The boaters will then be turned over to Jacksonville Sheriff’s officers.”Mr. Faulkner and Mr. Ross are two very lucky individuals as they didn’t have all their safety equipment aboard their vessel,” said Capt. Drew Pearson, Seventh Coast Guard District chief of search and rescue. “Finding them came down to the alertness of a passing merchant vessel. The lesson learned for all boaters is no matter how short the trip, ensure you have all your safety devices with you while underway.” The two Vero Beach men reported missing Sunday night while fishing off the coast of Fort Pierce were found alive 65 miles off the Jacksonville coast.Vincent Faulkner, 39, and Eric Ross, age unknown, were found by the crew of the motor vessel, Yasa Seyhan, located Vincent Faulkner and Eric Ross drifting in their disabled vessel in the waters off Jacksonville.  The crew reported the two men in stable condition with no injuries or medical concerns. The men were reported missing around 9:30 p.m. Sunday after failing to return to the Black Pearl boat ramps in Fort Pierce. The search area quickly expanded from the waters off Fort Pierce north to Cape Canaveral and included numerous search water- and aircraft.

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