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Search suspended for missing boater off Brevard County coast

Man's boat found empty early Tuesday morning

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TITUSVILLE, Fla – The Coast Guard has suspended its search for a missing 38-year-old boater off the Brevard County coast. 

Investigators say Lloyd Chamberlain went out on the Atlantic Ocean Sunday.

“I want to extend my sincere condolences to the family and friends of Lloyd Chamberlain. The Coast Guard prides itself on rescuing survivors and returning them to their friends and family, which makes the decision to suspend a search and rescue case extremely difficult,” said Lt.j.g. Kathryn Weber, command duty officer at Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville in a release. "Despite the exceptional efforts of our many different partner agencies and volunteers, the decision has been made to suspend our search. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Chamberlain family during this trying time."

Friends called the Coast Guard when Chamberlain did not return at dusk as planned. Coast Guard officials said they pinged his cellphone and found his boat.

Chamberlain's 17-foot recreational boat was discovered overnight, resting in the surf along the shoreline of Indian Harbour Beach, not far from the Oceanique Resort, 2105 Highway A1A. Authorities searched the vessel and also found a cellphone belonging Chamberlain, the sole occupant of the boat, News 6 partner Florida Today reported. 

The search area covered a stretch of the Atlantic from Jetty Park to the Eau Gallie Boulevard area in Melbourne.

The Coast Guard says their focus Tuesday was on an area from Titusville to Satellite Beach. 

The National Weather Service in Melbourne, which issues advisories regarding surf and intercostal waterway conditions, had issued a statement for boaters to use caution because of rough surf and hazardous conditions, Florida Today reported.

Boating conditions remained hazardous Monday as a moderate north to northeast breeze continues to produce a rough chop along the Atlantic.

"To everyone concerned with the Coast Guard's decision to suspend their search efforts, the Coast Guard did an amazing job in their search for Lloyd IV Chamberlain," said Dan Chamberlain, Lloyd Chamberlain's brother, in a statement. "There are many factors that contributed to this decision. During their search they kept me and my family informed as to what their search plans were and what resources would be utilized. Lt Pat McMahon, Commander Doug Stark and team were extremely professional and completely heartfelt in what they were doing and they made this their number one priority. The search will continue through the Brevard County Sheriff and the Florida Fish and Wildlife but now as a recovery instead of a search and rescue. Please keep my family and those close to Lloyd in your thoughts and prayers."

Coast Guard vessels, including a helicopter from Clearwater, along with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and other agencies are participating in the ongoing search.

Stay with News 6 and ClickOrlando.com for updates on this story.