Search suspended for man lost at sea during rescue attempt

Published: Updated:
Javier Castro, 21, pictured on the right

BOCA GRANDE, Fla. – The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended its search for a missing man in his twenties, Javier Castro of Cape Coral, who tried to rescue his three siblings caught in a current off Range Light Beach at Gasparilla Island State Park on Saturday.

His sister and two brothers had been on a sandbar when the current became too strong, according to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. LCSO received a call before 4 p.m. which was around the time that beachgoers began trying to rescue the friends. Castro went in after his siblings.

Castro’s sister and two brothers were rescued from the water and brought to safety, according to family friends. But Castro was not located.

The family was on the beach celebrating a birthday and Father’s Day, family friends Rick and Sheila Jenkins said. She said Castro’s parents are having a hard time.

“They’re empty. Part of each one of their hearts has been torn out because they lived and breathed for those kids,” they said. “Everything is about doing things together as a family. They were together as a family out there at the beach yesterday.”

The search for Castro began Saturday afternoon, but the Coast Guard suspended its search Sunday evening. The Jenkins said Castro’s family is having a hard time.

“They’re going through the thing, blaming themselves and stuff like that but he was looking out for his family. Having a family day and then it was just an accident. There’s nothing anyone could have done,” they said.

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