Coast Guard searching for missing Florida boater

FOX 35 News at 5 p.m.

- The U.S. Coast Guard continues their search for a missing boater from Ocala, Florida.   A boat belonging to  Mitchell Szegi was discovered on Tuesday morning, but he was nowhere to be found.  

Though her tears, wife Kerri Szegi described her husband as "real easy-going, fun-loving," and "a real sweet guy."

The couple has been married for 22 years, and they run a thoroughbred horse farm in Ocala.  She said fishing was something he enjoyed.

"Just praying that he's safe,” she said.  "He was by himself, went out fishing. I'm guessing he was out trolling."

The Coast Guard says the 47-year-old man left in a 22-foot fishing boat at noon Sunday from Horseshoe Beach, about two hours northwest of Ocala, in Florida's Big Bend region.

Szegi explained, "He still wasn't home on Monday midday, so I called the Coast Guard," adding "of course, there's still hope,” She said.

She is hopeful, but heartbroken.  She pleaded Tuesday with other boaters or anyone who might hear about this story.

"I guess if they're out fishing, just watch for somebody out in the water. I don't know. If you see him, get ahold of the Coast Guard. I mean, I really want him home."

On Tuesday, crews were searching a 6,000 square mile area of the Gulf of Mexico for the man.

A spokesperson for the Coast Guard Southeast said in a news release on the Coast Guard website, “Boaters are encouraged to remain vigilant while in the area and to render aid and assistance if necessary."

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the U.S. Coast Guard at 727-824-7543.

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