MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says a massive search to find a boater that went missing near the Julia Tuttle Causeway has been paused.
FWC said they received a call around 11 p.m. Tuesday about a boating incident and a missing person.
A boat with significant damage was found and brought to shore, but it's unclear what happened.
At the Pelican Harbor Marina, boats have been launching to assist in the search for 35-year-old Reynier "Ray" Marino, the founder of Hellcat Power Boats in west Miami-Dade.
Friends said he is an experienced boater who left Pelican Harbor around 7 p.m. Tuesday night. They said Marino took out a boat he had just sold and was testing it.
The new owner, who was waiting at the marina, said when Marino did not show up, he alerted friends. His 30-foot boat with damage to its front starboard side was found near the Julia Tuttle Causeway between Miami and Miami Beach.
Multiple agencies, including the Coast Guard, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, were involved in the search, which was being led by FWC.
"It's weird because he knows everything about boats and water. It's really sad," said Marino's friend Julio Labrada. "He is a good person, he helps a lot of people, he's a hard-working man."
Labrada told CBS4's Peter D'Oench, "I feel depressed about this. He has a company that he created named Hellkat Powerboats. It would mean a lot to me of course if they found him."
Kent Ogilvie, who says he has been a boater for 50 years, says this is a reminder about how careful you have to be on the after.
"Basically it is like driving a car because you have to watch out for the other person. Boating can be very dangerous. Even a very experienced person can be caught off guard."
If you know anything about the missing man's whereabouts you should call Coast Guard Miami Sector at (305) 535-4472.
The search is set to resume Thursday morning.
for more features.