Missing Person

Missing from: St. Petersburg, Florida
Last seen: Feb/09/2024
Status: Missing
Created: April 1, 2024 8:56 am
Updated: April 2, 2024 7:06 pm

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Case Report


On February 9, the U.S. Coast Guard initiated a rescue operation after receiving reports of a distressed vessel in the Gulf of Mexico, west of Anna Maria Island. The distressed vessel, a 28-foot boat, had capsized, leaving its occupants stranded in the water without life jackets or means to call for help.

The Coast Guard Cutter Shrike, deployed for routine operations, became the unexpected savior in this incident. Responding to the distress, the crew discovered two individuals clinging to debris from the sunken vessel. The survivors, whose identities were initially undisclosed by the Coast Guard, were promptly rescued and transported to safety.

However, a third individual from the capsized boat, later identified as Jose Cruz Ledesma, aged 60 from Tampa, was reported missing. Despite extensive search efforts, which included assistance from Coast Guard Station Cortez and deployment of a Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater helicopter, the search for Ledesma was suspended after 11 hours on February 10.

**Details of the Incident:**

The vessel, which launched from the Maximo Marina boat ramp in St. Petersburg, encountered difficulties when it began taking on water, ultimately leading to its capsizing. Survivors recounted the harrowing experience to Coast Guard personnel, mentioning the suddenness of the incident which left them without life jackets or the opportunity to send a distress signal.

Nicole Groll, public information officer for Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg, emphasized the importance of wearing life jackets while aboard any seagoing vessel. She highlighted the critical role played by the Coast Guard Cutter Shrike in the timely rescue of the stranded individuals, underscoring the absence of an emergency position-indicating beacon or distress call from the survivors.


At this time, he's still missing, unidentified bodies that wash up on any of the Caribbean islands or American Coast line, should be compared with this case for possible positive ID.


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