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Boater missing for days after leaving Bahamas rescued off Jupiter Inlet

54-year-old man departed Bimini on Sunday
Juan Evelio Ferrer Gonzales, boater rescued off Jupiter on Nov. 16, 2021
Posted at 3:23 PM, Nov 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-17 18:19:04-05

JUPITER, Fla. — A boater who was missing at sea for days was rescued off Jupiter on Tuesday night, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Officials tweeted earlier this week that 54-year-old Juan Evelio Ferrer Gonzales left Bimini, Bahamas, on Sunday en route to Homestead, located in southern Miami-Dade County.

Coast Guard crews found Gonzales at about 10:45 p.m. Tuesday after he was reported missing on Monday.

Officials said a good Samaritan reported seeing a disabled vessel with two people aboard about 10 miles off the Jupiter Inlet.

A Coast Guard rescue crew based at the Lake Worth Inlet arrived and confirmed it was the missing boater.

Officials said Gonzalez left the Bahamas on Sunday in a 22-ft Chris Craft boat with his reported stepson, a non-U.S. citizen, and ran out of fuel. Both are reported in good condition.

"We are happy that Gonzales was found alive and well," said Commander Eric Paré, search and rescue mission coordinator. "We encourage mariners file a float plan, telling someone where they are going and when they are returning, have a good working VHF radio, and to always wear a life jacket."

The Coast Guard said the case is under investigation for suspected human smuggling.