Man missing after falling from tugboat in Jacksonville

The mariner was transiting from the tugboat Pops to a barge

(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) — The Coast Guard suspended the search Monday for a man who went missing after falling overboard near Blount Island on Sunday.

Watch standers at Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville received notification at approximately 3 a.m. Sunday from the tugboat Pops stating a 42-year-old man fell into the water while transiting from the vessel to a barge and did not resurface.

“The loss of a fellow professional mariner is especially difficult and our sincerest condolences go out to his family, friends and co-workers,” said Capt. Mark Vlaun, commanding officer of Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville. “We ask that all mariners keep a sharp lookout while transiting the waterways near Blount Island and to call our command center at (904) 714-7555 with any reports of new information. Thank you to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for their rapid response and partnership throughout this challenging search.”

Coast Guard assets involved in the search:

• MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Air Station Savannah

• A 29-foot response boat-small crew from Station Mayport

– U.S. Coast Guard

Statement from the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 25:

“The Coast Guard suspended their search late Monday night for brother Ozzy Martinez. They are asking all mariners transiting the waterways near Blount Island to keep a sharp lookout and to call the Command Center at (904) 714-7555 with any reports of new information. Our Local 25 brothers and sisters that are working on the Jacksonville job site have been searching and assisting in any way they can since the first minute and we know that will not change. We are asking anyone in the vicinity and on the water to keep an eye out. We are continuing to pray for brother Ozzy and his family and will continue to support them as they pray for a miracle. We know that this is a difficult time for many of our members and the lack of information can feel especially heavy. Ozzy is well known and respected throughout Local 25 and he has become a beloved friend to many of us. We are still here, Primo. Wherever you are, we are still here.

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U.S. Coast Guard photo

Categories: Casualty News