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Pasco County boater reported missing at sea

A New Port Richey man was reported missing at sea by his family Monday, and a search was under way, the Coast Guard said.

Mark Portus, 49, went fishing Monday morning near Anclote Key, departing from the Pithlachascotee River on a 22-foot fishing boat around 9 a.m., the Coast Guard said.

At 6 p.m., his family contacted the Coast Guard in St. Petersburg and reported him missing.

At 7:30 p.m., a crewmember from Sea Tow Services discovered Portus' boat aground on a sandbar near the north end of Anclote Key, its engine running and no one aboard.

The Coast Guard launched a 25-foot rescue boat and an HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Clearwater to search for Portus.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Pasco County Sheriff's Office are also helping with the search.

Pasco County boater reported missing at sea 08/17/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 18, 2009 11:25am]
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