CRYSTAL RIVER, Fla. — The Coast Guard rescued three boaters overnight in Citrus County. 

  • Three boaters rescued near Crystal River overnight
  • Crews still searching for 71-year-old missing boater

While the Coast Guard was out searching for a 71-year-old missing boater, they observed a flare at about 3:32 a.m. near Crystal River. 

Officials said their boat capsized four miles west of Crystal River.  There, they found three boaters taking on water aboard a 30-foot boat. 

They were able to pull the uninjured boaters to safety. 

Crews still continue to search for the elderly boater, Ernest Bishop, from Crystal River.  

Officials said the Coast Guard received a 911 relay at about 10:20 p.m. on Wednesday from Bishop's wife who said he was overdue. 

She said he left Wednesday around 10 a.m. from the Fort Island Trail Park aboard his 23-foot fishing boat.  He was supposed to return before sunset and was wearing a tee shirt and khaki shorts. 

Search crews located Bishop's boat 15 miles south of Crystal River Thursday at about 1 a.m.  Crews are continuing to search for Bishop in a 1,250 square mile area west of Crystal River.

This is the third missing boater case in the Bay area this week. 

Crews found the body of missing boater, Toniette Lott, 51, in Platt Lake on Wednesday. 

And crews are still searching for missing boater, Todd Battaglino, 50, who was last seen at the Royal Marina in Englewood early Monday evening.