Rescue crews still searching for missing Lake Tarpon boaters

1:55 PM, Dec 31, 2013   |    comments
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Video: Rescue crews resume search for missing boaters

  • Willie Ragins III pictured with his mother in March 2013.



Tarpon Springs, Florida -- Search and rescue boats are back out on Lake Tarpon for a third day, searching for two missing boaters.

Willie Ragins III, 38, and Willie High Tower, 64, vanished late Saturday night after they went fishing that afternoon. Ragins called his wife at 10 p.m. to say he would be home soon, but never made it there.

Pinellas County Marine Units and dive teams looked all day Sunday and Monday, but had to stop when it became too dark to search.

Ragins' truck and trailer were still parked at the boating dock near Tookes Road as of Monday morning. 

Pinellas County Marine units, the Hillsborough County Dive Team and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have boats with sonar equipment that they are all using to search for Ragins and High Tower. 

PCSO also have their airboat and chopper up to aid in the search. 

"I am scared. I am petrified. I want them to find my son alive, maybe hanging on to something," said Ragins' mother Saretha Ragins. 

Ragins family all stood together and watched the dive teams go out. 

"All we can do is pray and support each other," said Ragins' uncle, Arthur Light.

High Tower's wife and son were there Monday during the search as well, telling 10 News off camera their hearts are broken. Tears streamed down High Tower's wife's face as she spoke. 

So far, officials say search and rescue have found the boat's gas can, a thermos, a tackle box, a couple coolers with fish they caught, and a life jacket. 

Boaters and visitors in the area are asked to call the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office should they see anything that may be related to this case.

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