Officials continue to search the Pass-A-Grill Channel for a Colorado college student and charter mate after they went missing around 6 p.m. Tuesday.
The two men have been identified as Colorado State University student Jie Lou, 21, from China, and charter mate Andrew Dillman, 27, from New York, according to Bay News 9.
Lou was one of 15 college students who were on a 71-foot charter boat that anchored off Shell Key Tuesday. Five students were swimming off the side of the boat, but only four could swim back to the boat.
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The charter captain was able to help the four students back on board, Dillman jumped into the water to help Jie; however, The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said, due to the wind, waves and current, the two men were unable to get back on the vessel. The sheriff’s office believes the two men were not wearing life vests.
In a joint effort with the sheriff’s office, U.S. Coast Guard and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are assisting in the search.
Crews have searched over 419 square miles so far, according to Bay News 9, but officials say the wind and choppy water is making the search difficult.