Skip to content

Successful Massive Air, Sea Search to be Recognized at South Florida Event

The annual Fort Lauderdale event raises funds for Coast Guard members while highlighting Coast Guard service in the Southeast.
Coast Guard boat, crew and survivor
Ron labrec web v
by Ron LaBrec
February 14, 2024

The Coast Guard Foundation will honor the August rescue of a 25-year-old man off the coast of St. Augustine, Florida, at its annual South Florida event on April 18. Phil Purcell, President and CEO of Marine Industries Association of South Florida, will also be recognized for his leadership in the maritime industry. 

The Tribute to the Seventh Coast Guard District will be held at Fort Lauderdale’s Marriott Harbor Beach Resort, starting at 6:30 pm. Attended by Coast Guard members, maritime and defense industry leaders and supporters of the Coast Guard, the annual event raises money for Foundation programs that support service members and families. 

EMS crews and patient in front of a boat.
Coast Guard crews transfer Charles Gregory to local EMS after he was rescued from a partially submerged jon boat 12 miles offshore St. Augustine, Florida, Aug. 5, 2023. Charles departed the Lighthouse Park Boat Ramp Aug. 4 and his parents reported him missing to Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville. (U.S. Coast Guard photo, courtesy Coast Guard Station Mayport)

Coast Guard crews rescued 25-year-old Charles Gregory, August 5, after he went missing in a small jon boat, 12 miles offshore of St. Augustine, Florida.

Search and rescue specialists at Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville launched an extensive air and sea search after receiving a report from Gregory's family, August 4, that he did not return to the Lighthouse Park Boat Ramp.

A Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane crew spotted Gregory, the following morning, sitting in his partially submerged boat. A Coast Guard Cutter Coho boat crew recovered and transferred him to a Station Mayport boat crew who transported him to EMS at Vilano Beach Fishing Pier.

We are pleased about the outcome in this case and I would like to thank all of our local and state partners who were heavily involved in searching for Charles and bringing him home to his family.
- Cmdr. Nick Barrow, Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville search and rescue mission coordinator
Sponsorships & Tickets Available
portrait photo of a man
The Coast Guard Foundation will honor Phil Purcell, President and CEO of the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, for his maritime leadership and community involvement.

The Foundation will also honor Phil Purcell, CEO and President of the Marine Industries Association of South Florida (MIASF) for his maritime leadership, commitment to maritime safety and stewardship, and support of the non-profit community.

A visionary and motivating leader in the marine community, Purcell has led MIASF since 2014. During Purcell’s tenure MIASF has worked to support and strengthen the marine industries in the Southeast, which provide 149,000 marine jobs and an annual economic benefit of $12.5 billion to the region.

The Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Steve Poulin, and other national and regional leaders are expected to attend, as will Coast Guard members from throughout the southeast United States. 

Title image: A crew from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Coho recovers Charles Gregory and his jon boat 12 miles offshore St. Augustine, Florida, Aug. 5, 2023. Charles departed the Lighthouse Park Boat Ramp Aug. 4 and his parents reported him missing to Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville. (U.S. Coast Guard photo, courtesy Coast Guard Station Mayport)

Join Us On LinkedIn
Connect with us on social media to get updates on how your support is making a difference.
Follow Us
Anchor Sponsors
Coast Guard Foundation events are supported by generous sponsors at all levels. This support powers our programs for Coast Guard members and families all year long.

Anchor Sponsors contribute at leadership levels and support our events and programs throughout the year. Thank you to our 2023 Anchor Sponsors.

Platinum Anchor:
Cheniere Energy

Gold Anchor:
Bollinger Shipyards
L3Harris

Silver Anchor:
ABS
Austal USA
City Experiences by Hornblower
Harvey Gulf International Marine
Liberty Maritime
McAllister Towing
The Marshall Islands Registry
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings
PENFED Foundation
Tote

Recent Events and Run to Remember News