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Officials search for 68-year-old boater missing off Florida coast

The man's vessel washed ashore with the motor running
Dale Hossfield, missing Vero Beach boater
Posted at 9:56 PM, May 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-19 21:56:59-04

MELBOURNE, Fla.  — Officials are searching for a boater after his vessel was found on Wednesday evening.

Dale Allan Hossfield, 68, left his residence in Vero Beach, Florida in the morning to retrieve his boat from dry storage in a Fort Pierce, Florida marina, but has not been seen or heard from since, according to local authorities.

It was reported that Hossfield left from the Fort Pierce Inlet at about 2 p.m. on Wednesday, according to the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard then received a report at 5:45 p.m. that a 29-foot boat had washed ashore with the engines still running on Melbourne Beach.

The Coast Guard said they are using the following assets in the search:

  • Air Station Miami MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew
  • Station Fort Pierce 45-foot response boat
  • Station Port Canaveral 45-foot response boat
  • Coast Guard Cutter Manowar boat crew
  • Coast Guard Cutter Ibis boat crew
  • Coast Guard Cutter Skipjack boat crew
  • Coast Guard Auxilary Saber-14 aircrew 

Other agencies involved in the search include the Florida Fish and Wildlife and Brevard County Sheriff's Office.

The family said the situation is incredibly strange. The man's niece said her uncle fishes all the time and didn't have any health issues that would keep him from fishing.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Hossfield, contact Coast Guard Miami's command center at 305-535-4472.

This story was originally published by Monica Magalhaes, Meghan McRoberts and Scott Sutton of WPTV in West Palm Beach, Florida.