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Coast Guard searching for man missing from boat off Bolivar Peninsula

Crews search by boat, air for Terry Millender, 54

GALVESTON, Texas – Volunteers with Texas EquuSearch have joined rescue teams to look for a missing fisherman.

The family of 54-year-old Tim Millender alerted authorities early Monday afternoon. Someone spotted his boat turning in circles off the Intracoastal Waterway. His crab traps were inside along with his cell phone, but Millender was gone.

According to the Coast Guard, Millender's boat was found abandoned with its engine still on just off the Bolivar Peninsula. A witness spotted the 19-foot skiff with no one on board, doing circles out in the water before eventually stopping after running out of gas.

"He went missing between 10 a.m. and noon yesterday," Assistant Chief Jerald Looper with the Crystal Beach Fire Department said. "He was checking his crab traps as he does every day, and he is usually in by noon."

Despite finding the fishing equipment on board, there were no signs of Millender.

On Monday, because of the current, crews covered more than 10 miles, but Tuesday their efforts will be concentrated to on one mile off the Bolivar Peninsula.

"We believe he went missing between two crab traps. He had crabs in one, but the other crabpot was empty," Looper said.

Tim Miller, with Texas EquuSearch, came in from out of town to help look for the Crystal Beach native.

"Tim didn't even go back to Houston; he came straight here and spent the night so he could be here first thing in the morning. He brought some more boats with sonar, and the Coast Guard has their helicopter up today so we have great resources," said Looper.

While the search continues, residents of Crystal Beach are joining together.

"People on this peninsula are very close, very tight-knit. If one person is hurting, we are all hurting. The family is asking for prayers," Looper said.

"We're going to search as if it's one of our own loved ones out there. We're all part of the community. We're going to do our best," Patrick Kelly, with the Coast Guard, said.