Coast Guard found missing boaters alive, off Naples coast

Published: Updated:
Stock photo showing the model of the missing boat. Credit: US Coast Guard

The Coast Guard, along with partner agencies, ended their search for two missing boaters Wednesday night after finding them alive on their rented boat, six miles off the Naples coast.

Boaters Joe Nita, 81, and Brian Daugherty, 72, rented a 22-ft blue and white pontoon boat from Snook Bight Marina on Tuesday. They were supposed to be back by 4 p.m., but after not returning, Daugherty’s wife called the Coast Guard.

The boaters ran out of fuel yesterday evening, and tried to signal other boaters with flares, but were unsuccessful, the Coast Guard said.

The boaters called the marina and left a voicemail saying they were disoriented, and that they think they were near Big Carlos Pass.

After more than 24 hours at sea, both men were found in their rented pontoon boat six miles off of Doctors Pass in Naples. Helicopter with he Clearwater Coast Guard found them at 8 p.m.

According to the Coast Guard, everyone is OK and there are no injuries at this time.

Crews are working on bringing them to the Fort Myers Beach Coast Guard station.

Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.