Search Continues for Missing Boaters off Keaton Beach

It's been four days and there's still no sign of four missing boaters from the Valdosta area. The group was last seen leaving Keaton Beach Saturday morning for a day-long fishing trip. Now, the Coast Guard is widening the search, looking across the Gulf of Mexico for any clues to their whereabouts.

Four Valdosta families are camping out in Keaton Beach, Florida waiting for their sons, daughter, and husband to be found.

“That's all we want is for them to come back in, put our arms around them and tell them we love them,” says Dell Player, father.

Player says his daughter Amanda and her boyfriend Matthew Hutchinson were practically attached at the hip. He say's everyone thought they'd get married, but both have been missing since last Saturday morning, when they and two friends Jeremiah Giffin and Dominic Barrows took their 20-foot sea craft 20 miles out to sea.

“We think that they may have been better prepared than some boaters,” says Roy Brown of Fish & Wildlife.

Matthew's father Danny agrees. Both have been on the water during rough seas, and both take every safety precaution.

“We have a system we go through and we even back checked. There's nothing in the storage shed where safety stuff would have been if he hadn't taken it with him,” says Danny Hutchinson, Matthew’s father.

Still, the waiting is dragging on. Nourishment to keep hope alive is first priority at Keaton Marina. Generous offerings that are needed for this group, who says they're not going anywhere anytime soon.


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