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Search on for missing paddle boarder last seen entering Pines canal

Search on for missing South Florida paddle boarder
Search on for missing South Florida paddle boarder 02:24

KEY BISCAYNE - The U.S. Coast Guard and a close family friend are appealing for the public's help in finding a paddle boarder who has been missing since 5:15 p.m. on Monday.

Multiple agencies including the Coast Guard, Miami-Dade Police and FWC are searching for 29-year-old Luciano Mercenari, a veteran and skilled paddle boarder who was last seen leaving his family's home entering the Pines Canal on his aqua and orange paddle board while wearing a light grey, long sleeve rash guard that was white and grey sports shorts.

He is 6'2" tall and about 200 pounds.

Family friend Gretel Capriles told CBS News Miami's Peter D'Oench, "He was supposed to go to Stiltsville and he usually does these trips in about two hours and come back before sundown. He has not shown up so we have been looking for him yesterday and today, all over, by sea, by air and with paddle boards around the island. We are hoping we will find him. He is an amazing person and a fisherman. He also won a rowing championship and was a national champ. His nickname was LUC for light. He would Light up everyone around him."

Capriles spoke as dozens of friends and family members went to the family's home in the Cape Florida neighborhood of Key Biscayne on Tuesday.

Capriles said, "He is a kind person and we are going all over this area doing this to get as many people as possible and unite forces to find him. I can not tell you the words it would mean to find him. It would be incredible and I am sure it will happen."

Capriles said Mercenari had never disappeared before.

On Tuesday, Miami-Dade helicopters were seen flying over Key Biscayne as FWC Officers were seen near the family home. A CBS News Miami crew even spotted an officer and his K-9.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Diana Sherbs said, "Around 9:30 Monday night we were called and we launched a small boat from station Miami and then an MH 65 helicopter dolphin crew from air station Miami and they searched until 1:15 a.m. There were no signs of him or the paddle board.

We are hopeful for a positive outcome and we will continue our search until we exhaust all resources and leads."

Sherbs said, "We have a lot of assistance with our work but it never hurts to have more eyes on the lookout."

She urged anyone with information that can help to call the Coast Guard at (305) 535-4300.

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