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Coast Guard searching for missing fishermen in Mobile Bay

(IMG: Karen Nelson Haywood via Facebook)

The Coast Guard and local agencies are searching for two people aboard an overdue vessel in Mobile Bay, Alabama, Wednesday.

The missing are Floyd Nelson, 83-years-old, and David Stegman, 49-years-old.

The Coast Guard received a report at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday of an overdue 22-foot white Jon boat with both men aboard.

Crews from Mobile Police, Daphne Search and Rescue along with Mobile County Sheriff’s Flotilla are all assisting the Coast Guard in this search. Members of the United Cajun Navy and a number of volunteers have also joined in on the search.

A family member of one of the two men reported the men were planning to fish between the Theodore Ship Channel and Gaillard Island Tuesday evening and were supposed to return by 9 a.m. Wednesday.

The Coast Guard along with local law enforcement agencies continued the search for the two men Thursday.

Thursday afternoon, the Coast Guard found Nelson’s boat capsized by Gaillard Island and volunteers found their fishing net on the beach.

Divers plunged under the boat to search for the men. As of Thursday evening, divers report, to the best of their knowledge, there is no sign of the fishermen on board.

NBC 15 spoke with Nelson’s loved ones as they anxiously waited for updates on a Theodore boat launch Thursday.

Nelson’s cousin tells NBC 15 the commercial fishing captain, known as “Genie Boy,” never met a stranger and he’d give anyone the shirt off of his back. Alabama Marine Resource’s Director Scott Bannon certainly agrees.

“I remember almost the first time I met Genie boy,” Bannon said, adding “He’s been one of those guys that’s always here, that’s always fishing. At one point you think, sir are you going to retire but he says ‘no this is what I do, this is what I love to do, it’s in me.’”

Nelson’s 84th birthday is just 11 days away.

“He’s a very good fisherman, a mentor to other fishermen, so this is not a new environment for him,” Bannon said. “It just looks like maybe some unexpected weather may have gone to him.”

Agencies and volunteers will continue to search Friday morning.

Anyone with information about the two men is requested to contact Coast Guard Sector Mobile at (251) 441-6211.

ORIGINAL STORY:

The Coast Guard and local agencies are searching for two people aboard an overdue vessel in Mobile Bay, Alabama, Wednesday.

Missing are Floyd Nelson, 83-years-old, and David Stegman, 49-years-old.

The Coast Guard received a report at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday of an overdue 22-foot white Jon boat with both men aboard.

Crews from Mobile Police, Daphne Search and Rescue along with Mobile County Sheriff’s Flotilla are all assisting the Coast Guard in this search.

A family member of one of the two men reported the men were planning to fish between the Theodore Ship Channel and Gaillard Island Tuesday evening and were supposed to return by 9 a.m. Wednesday.

The Coast Guard along with local law enforcement agencies continued the search for the two men Thursday at morning.


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