Search for missing Florida Keys couple, dog suspended by Coast Guard
The Coast Guard is suspending its search for two Florida Keys boaters and their dog who have been missing for a week.
The Southeast Branch District named the couple missing, saying Omar Millet and Betsy Morales were last seen near Wisteria Island.
Millet contacted Coast Guard Sector Key West Command Center watchmen at 11 p.m. ET on September 27, reporting that his ship’s anchor line had broken and the vessel was adrift.
Due to Hurricane Ian, the sector was unable to immediately launch rescue assets and crews, but provided emergency instructions and established a communication schedule.
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At approximately 1:30 a.m. ET on September 28, observers from the Key West Sector Command Center were unable to make contact with the pair, and Coast Guard air and surface assets were dispatched to begin efforts to research.
Crews and partner agencies searched more than 15,171 square miles for the vessel in hurricane conditions – an area larger than the state of Maryland.
Agencies deployed included the United States Navy, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, as well as Coast Guard Station Key West and Coast Guard Air Stations Miami and Clearwater.
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“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of Omar Millet and Betsy Morales,” said Lt. Cmdr. Elizabeth Tatum, search and rescue mission coordinator for the Key West area, said in a statement. “The decision to suspend a search is never easy and is only made after careful consideration of all available facts.”
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The search has been suspended pending further information. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Millet and Morales is asked to call the Key West sector watchmen at 305-292-8727.