Coast Guard suspends search for missing CSU student, crew member off Florida coast

Posted at 8:00 AM, Mar 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-17 15:12:09-04

PINELLAS CO. Fla – The Coast Guard suspended its search for a missing Colorado State University student and a crew member off the coast of Florida.

The student, 21-year-old Jie Luo, was swimming near a charter boat when he was swept away by strong currents. A crew member, Andrew Dillman, 27, from New York, who dove in after him is also missing.

The two went missing Tuesday evening in Pass-A-Grille Channel near the Gulf of Mexico. The search began that night and continued until Thursday evening when the search was called off.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Jie Luo and Andrew Dillman," said Capt. Holly Najarian, Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg commander. "Suspending a search is the most difficult decision I have to make in my position, and despite our best efforts, we were unable to reunite Andrew and Jie with their families."

Fifteen CSU students chartered the 71-foot boat complete with a captain and crew as part of their spring break trip. Five male students jumped in the water to swim while the boat was anchored, only four were able to swim back.

Luo is a business major studying finance and real estate at CSU.


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