Non-Emergency: 727.582.6200

****Updated**** 13-283 Deputies Search For Missing Boaters On Lake Tarpon

***Update***

Deputies continue to search for the two missing boaters on Lake Tarpon at this hour. The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office has two boats with side scan sonar and an airboat in the water. The flight unit is also searching from the helicopter. Florida Fish and Wildlife and Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office are assisting the search efforts and both have a boat on Lake Tarpon with sonar.

On Sunday, December 29, 2013, Deputies located various items belonging to the boaters. Those items were two coolers, a life jacket, a tackle box and a boat chair. Those items were found in various locations in the North section of Lake Tarpon.

On Monday, December 30, 2013, Deputies located a red plastic gasoline can and a small red and white thermos.

**Correction** Willie Ragins date of birth was incorrect in the original release should be corrected to 10/30/1970.

The investigation continues.

Who:
Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
-Marine Unit
-Flight Section

Missing boaters:

Willie Ragins
DOB: 10/30/1975
Address: 2515 Ragins Lane, Plant City

Willie Hightower
DOB: 10/31/1949
Address: 1802 E. Warren St., Plant City

What:
Deputies are currently searching for a two boaters who went missing late Saturday night on Lake Tarpon.

Where:
The boaters went missing on Lake Tarpon, located at 1095 Tookes Road in Tarpon Springs.

When:
The boaters went fishing late in the afternoon on Saturday, December 28, 2013. Deputies began to search the area around noon on Sunday, December 29, 2013.

How/Why:
Deputies have been searching for two missing boaters since around noon today in Lake Tarpon. The two boaters went fishing in a 14 foot aluminum Jon Boat on Lake Tarpon in the late afternoon hours on Saturday, December 28, 2013. The two were last heard from around 10:00 p.m. yesterday evening.

Deputies were contacted on Sunday, December 29, 2013 and began searching for the boaters around noon. The two boaters have been identified as 38-year-old Willie Ragins and 64-year-old Willie Hightower.

The majority of the search has since been called off due to low visibility as the sun has gone down. The search will continue once the sun is up on Monday, December 30, 2013.

Various forms of sonar equipment, helicopters, and boats are being utilized to locate the two boaters.

Boaters and visitors in the area are asked to call the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office should they see anything suspicious.

The investigation continues.

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Operation Medicine Cabinet

Drop off your expired or unused medications during business hours at Operation Medicine Cabinet drop boxes located at two Sheriff’s Office locations:

The Sheriff’s Administration Building
10750 Ulmerton Rd.
Largo

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737 Louden Avenue
Dunedin

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