Coast Guard discovers boat in search for missing Manatee County couple

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FORT MYERS, Fla. – Crews located a vessel near the location where a Manatee County couple went missing on Lake Okeechobee Saturday, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission said Sunday.

Bad weather has kept officials from confirming whether the boat that belonged to the couple, John Russ, 72, and his wife Diane, 62, of Myakka City, according to a FWC spokesperson.

They were last seen Saturday around 7 p.m. in a 15-foot Panther model airboat near Bird Island on the west side of Lake Okeechobee, said FWC.

The U.S. Coast Guard, FWC and Glades County Sheriff’s Office began their search around 8:45 p.m. Saturday after a storm passed over the lake and the couple did not return from their trip.

Searching continued through Sunday, as authorities issued issued land and water units and used helicopters to find the missing couple.

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