Search ends for missing father-son boaters headed to Vero

US Coast Guard

The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended the search for two boaters at sunset Wednesday, who have been missing since Feb. 19, after they were reported overdue. The boaters were headed to Vero Beach when they went missing.

Those missing are Gerald Cook, 81, and Peter Cook, 55, and four dogs.

“Suspending a search without a positive outcome is a very difficult decision,” said Capt. Eric Smith, search and rescue mission coordinator on the case. “Despite our best efforts, we were unable to locate the vessel and our condolences go out to the families and friends of Gerald and Peter who remain missing.”

Since the search began, Coast Guard air and surface units conducted over 56 searches covering more than 109,319 square nautical miles.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Miami received the initial call from family stating a father and son were traveling from Panama City to Vero Beach by the Okeechobee Waterway and were scheduled to arrive Tuesday, Feb. 18.

Anyone with information on this case can contact Coast Guard District 7 Command Center at 305-415-6800.

Coast Guard assets and other agencies who responded included:

  • Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater HC-130H, MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter
  • Coast Guard Aviation Training Center (ATC) Mobile MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter, HC-144
  • Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City HC-130J
  • Air Station Miami HC-144A Ocean Sentry
  • Coast Guard Cutter Cutter Brant (WPB-87348)
  • Coast Guard Cutter Charles Sexton (WPC-1108)
  • Coast Guard Cutter Harriet Lane (WMEC-903)
  • Coast Guard Cutter Kathleen Moore (WPC-1109)
  • Coast Guard Cutter Albacore (WPB-87309)
  • U.S. Air Force E-9A Widget
  • Civil Air Patrol
  • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

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