Coast Guard finds missing boaters; wife dead, husband being treated

By THE NEWS-PRESS
Published by news-press.com on March 21, 2005



Perez and Delgado

DELIVERING YOUR WORLD
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The Coast Guard located the two boaters missing since Saturday night, one alive, one dead.

Jose Augustine Delgado, 41, was found alive 30 miles west of Marco Island and hoisted from the water by a rescue crew in an HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Clearwater around 9 this morning. He was taken to Lee Memorial Hospital where he is being treated for hypothermia.

Delgado's wife, Maria Perez, 35, was found dead by the Coast Guard Cutter Hawk, out of St. Petersburg, Fla. She will be transported to Coast Station Ft. Myer's Beach and turned over to the Lee County coroner's office.

The couples' 23-foot center console boat has not been located.

The search began Saturday night immediatly after officials were notified by a friend that they had not returned home by dark as expected.

Since Satuday night an extensive search for the missing boaters has been underway and included numerous boats and aircraft from the Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, and the Marco Island Police Department. In all, more than 29 flight hours and 14 boat and ship hours have been spent searching.

The cause of the accident is unknown at this point. Delgado was using lifejackets and clinging to floating debris to stay afloat when he was found, actions that likely contributed to saving his life.

"We are happy that through hard work by our search teams, as well as some good luck, we were able to rescue one of the two missing. We are saddened by the death of the other and our sympathies are with the families and friends of the victims." said Capt. David Durham, chief of search and rescue for the Seventh Coast Guard District.

"Even with a timely report of someone overdue, as in this case, it is extremely hard to spot a person in the open ocean and we always urge boaters to take the proper precautions to help us come to your aid," he continued.

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