HOUSTON - The U.S. Coast Guard has ended their search for three or four men that went aboard a sport fishing boat about 95 miles southeast of Galveston.
The fishermen's boat is described by the Coast Guard as a white 29-foot Chris-Craft Catalina sport fishing boat.
The girlfriend of Michael Hagen, the boat's owner, called Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston watch-standers to report him missing Tuesday night.
The Coast Guard said the other crew members were only identified by their first names, Ryan and Felix. The fourth possible crew member's name is unknown.
According to the Coast Guard, Hagen left Monday for an overnight trip to Stetson Bank and the Flower Garden Banks. However, he and his friends didn't return between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. as expected.
A search for the men began 7:45 a.m. on Wednesday. Authorities located his truck at the Galveston Yacht Basin.
The Coast Guard ended their search after 5 p.m. Wednesday. The fishermen were found and said that the fishing was good and they decided to stay out longer.
The Coast Guard said the watch-standers checked with people aboard other boats and aircraft in the suspected area to see if they could locate the missing boaters, and issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast to inform and enlist the help of other mariners.
"Filing an adequate float plan will always help the Coast Guard find overdue boaters in distress," said Lt. Brian Sullivan, the sector command duty officer. "Having a proper EPIRB will also assist the Coast Guard in locating them."
The Coast Guard says an EPIRB is an electronic position indicating radio beacon that sends a signal with your position to rescue coordinators when activated. Mariners are encouraged by the Coast Guard to file a float plan, or let someone know exactly where they are going and when they will be back.
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