Search ends for missing boater

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The U.S. Coast Guard ended its search for missing boater Fraser Horne — a winter resident of Cortez — at 5:37 p.m. Nov. 19.

The Coast Guard reported efforts to locate Horne were called off after a two-day search by air and sea in a 5-mile radius of Egmont Key, covering more than 2,100 square miles.

Horne, of Calgary, Canada, was reported missing at 6:15 p.m. Nov. 17 by his wife after departing Cortez for Egmont Key with his dog aboard his 30-foot boat, Gold N Rush, and not returning, according to Michael De Nyse, agency spokesman and petty officer 1st class.

Michele Horne thanked the Coast Guard and said Toula, their golden retriever, was at home and in good health, according to the release.

“Suspending a search is the most difficult decision I have to make and our thoughts and prayers go out to Horne’s family and friends,” wrote Capt. Holly Najarian, St. Petersburg commander in the release.

A 29-foot vessel from the Coast Guard station in Cortez was first to find Horne’s boat near Mead Point at the north end of Perico Island at 11:15 p.m. Nov. 17, De Nyse said.

The boat was found in shallow water, preventing the Cortez Coast Guard officers from boarding it, he added.

A helicopter from Clearwater was called in and a crew member was dropped into Horne’s vessel, which was reported to be idling in neutral, with Horne’s wallet, keys and shoes aboard.

De Nyse said he had no report of a cellphone or any reasons for Horne’s disappearance.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Holmes Beach police, Manatee County Sheriff’s Office and Pinellas County marine units assisted in the search.

Horne’s dog was found Nov. 18 at Fort De Soto Park in Pinellas County by a good Samaritan, De Nyse said.

“Despite our best efforts, we were unable to reunite Fraser with his family,” Najarian said in the news release.

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