Searchers find boat in Tampa Bay, but Bradenton man still missing

January 28, 2013 

MANATEE -- A boat belonging to a Patrick Mullins, a Bradenton man missing since Sunday, has been found, but Mullins is still missing, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Mullins, 52, is the media specialist at Palmetto High School. About 7 p.m. Sunday, his wife arrived at the couple's home in the 5600 block of 43rd Avenue East to find that Patrick and his boat were gone, according to a news release.

The boat, a 17-foot skiff, was found about noon floating near Egmont Key in the Hillsborough County portion of Tampa Bay, according to Baryl Martin, spokesman for Florida Fish and Wildlife.

Mullins' brother went out in a boat to look for Patrick on Sunday but was unable to find him. Mullins' wife then called the sheriff's office, according to the report.

The Mullinses live along the Braden River in Manatee County, just off of Morgan-Johnson Road. The family set up a command center at their home on Monday, with volunteers and officials searching the area.

Officials said they believe the boater went missing somewhere along the waterway.

Search crews on boats and helicopters began searching for him early Monday.

Anyone with information on Mullins' whereabouts should call the sheriff's office at 941-747-3011, ext 2260 or 2274.

BayNews 9 contributed to this report.

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