U.S. Coast Guard discovers body in Atlantic Ocean

Man's body found near large debris field offshore

Published On: Feb 24 2013 11:29:42 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 25 2013 06:23:34 PM EST
ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. -

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew located the body of a 49-year-old Venezuelan man body near a large debris field Sunday night in the Atlantic Ocean, about 22 miles east of the entrance to the St. Johns River.

A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission aircrew reported the debris, including two large pieces of a vessel, 10 life jackets, flares, and an oil sheen, about 6 p.m. Sunday.

Late Monday, the Coast Guard identified the victim as Guillermo Gonzalez Losada, whose passport was recovered.  His last known residence was in Miami.

"The Coast Guard sends its prayers and condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Losada," said Capt. Tom Allan, Sector Jacksonville Commander. "We are now seeking any information which may shed light on the many unknowns surrounding this case."

Some pieces of debris are more than 20 feet long, suggesting this was a large boat that had not been in the water very long.

"There's no substantial marine growth or anything to indicate it'd been out there a long time. So it appears it was fairly recent," said Jorgensen.

It was unknown if additional people are in the water or in distress, but the Coast Guard is responding as though there are.

"Many times boats will carry more life jackets than they have personnel on board, so we're not really sure [if anyone else was on board]," said Jorgensen.

Continuing to search the area surrounding the debris field are a boat crew aboard a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium from Station Mayport in Atlantic Beach and a C-130 Hercules plane from Air Station Clearwater.

"We're going to continue searching, we had search assets out all night," Jorgensen said. "We're going to continue searching today. Our command center folks here in Jacksonville are trying to determine and piece together the puzzle of what happened and where the boat came from."

The Coast Guard Cutter Kingfisher left the command center at 5:30 a.m. Monday to join the search.

Anyone with information about the debris field or the boat or the people involved is asked to contact the Coast Guard sector Jacksonville watch center at 904-564-7511.