Coast Guard Suspends Search For Missing Shrimper Offshore Port Aransas
Port Aransas—A 62-year-old Fort Myers, Fla., shrimper, went missing off the coast of Port Aransas on Sunday morning, sparking a massive search operation some 25 miles offshore Port Aransas.
Friends say that Rick Beale has been a shrimper most of his life and he absolutely loved the water and the way of life.
The search began Sunday morning when Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi watchstanders received a report of a missing fisherman who was last seen aboard his fishing vessel at 4 in the morning.
The Coast Guard sent out an urgent marine information broadcast and diverted a Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi HC-144 Ocean Sentry air crew, a MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew and a Station Port Aransas 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crew to search for the missing fisherman.
Coast Guard crews searched 3,509 square-nautical miles over the span of approximately 64 hours resulting in no evidence to support a continuing search for Beale.
“It can happen to any of us but Ricky was more than just a little experienced,” said shrimper Rocky Reynolds. “I hope maybe somebody picked him or at least hope he’s at peace out there, man.”
Reynolds fished with Beale on several trips out of Florida and now, he says that he feels in utter shock.
“I don’t know what could have happened,” Reynolds said. “I was on watch when it came out and we had just hollered at him the night before.”