ENGLEWOOD, Fla.- Boaters and friends in Englewood are still in shock their friend, 48-year-old Jeffery Jon Reinhardt, is still missing at sea.
Family and friends have now launched their own search efforts near the marina where Reinhardt was last seen.
Steven Viveras, manager at the bait and tackle store at Stump Pass Marina, says he met Reinhardt there two years ago, and have been friends ever since.
He says he helped Reinhardt fill up his tank Friday morning, before he made his way into the Gulf.
“He pulled up right here, he came in at 10. On our video cam he left at 10:20, went straight through the pass. We were totally surprised and shocked, but he left here in good spirits, and just thinking that he’s going out for a normal boat ride.”
Reinhardt was popular among boaters who frequented the marina, according to Viveras.
“That’s why we’ve got 50 to 100 out looking for him,” he said. “Because he was loved, not liked.”
Reinhardt pumped about $100 of gas into his 25 foot Pursuit, which would allow for approximately 25 gallons, according to marina employees.
But Viveras and other local boaters believe in their friend’s skill, as well as his knowledge of the waters and his boat. Viveras tells WINK News he believes Reinhardt would know what to do if he was thrown off a boat.
“Jeff’s an avid diver, avid swimmer. It’s one of those things that’s ‘hey, if anyone’s gonna make it it’s him.'”