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Minn. Man Missing, Boat Found Adrift Off Lake Worth

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(Source: Fort Lauderdale Police Department)

(Source: Fort Lauderdale Police Department)

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LAKE WORTH (CBS4)- Authorities are searching for a Minnesota man whose rented boat from Fort Lauderdale. The man’s boat was found adrift off South Florida’s Atlantic coast.

The Coast Guard found 59-year-old Randall David Ward’s 24-foot Hurricane Sundeck boat about seven miles off Lake Worth early Wednesday after a marina reported that Ward was hours overdue.

Fort Lauderdale police said the boat had some mechanical problems.

Ward’s wife, Rita, said that her husband left their Eden Prairie, Minn., home June 21 on a motorcycle trip to Fort Lauderdale, according to the Sun Sentinel.

On Tuesday, at approximately 9 a.m. Ward rented the 24-foot boat at the Bahia Mar Marine at 801 Seabreeze Boulevard.  The rental agreement was from 9 to 5 p.m.

At approximately 8 p.m. a late-boater report was initiated through the Fort Lauderdale Police Department as well as the U.S. Coast Guard.

The U.S. Coast Guard located the boat several miles offshore from Lake Worth at approximately 1 a.m. The boat was located empty, but had some mechanical issues.

Rita Ward said her husband had been suffering from some health problems, and the couple had been struggling with a son’s suicide. She has not heard from her husband since June 22.

She also said Ward would jump into the water to fix problems on their own boat.

Anyone with information as to Ward’s whereabouts is encouraged to contact the Fort Lauderdale Police Department or Sergeant Steve Novak at 954-828-5556.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Sun Sentinel contributed to this report.)

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