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Weekend boaters look out for dad & kidnapped kids

11:54 PM, Apr 6, 2013   |    comments
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TAMPA, Florida - Boaters heading out for a day of fun on the water at a boat ramp off Gandy Boulevard in Tampa were also on the lookout for Joshua Hakken, the father accused of forcibly removing his sons from their grandmother's custody.

"I got kids and family myself, so we'll be definitely looking for them," said Bryan Hinland.

The Coast Guard has been broadcasting an Amber Alert on emergency channel 16 in search for Hakken, his wife Sharyn, and their two boys Chase, 2, and Cole, 4.

The following is a transcript of the message sent to 10 News by Will Lengyel, OS2:

"The Coast Guard is searching for a 24ft Blue S/V Salty W/2 adults and 2 children on board that departed Madeira Beach at 10 a.m. local on 03 apr destination unknown all vessels in the area are requested to keep a sharp lookout, do not approach the vessel, the occupants are considered armed and dangerous and immediately report all sightings to the U.S. Coast Guard on Channel 16 or by landline 727-848-7506."

The message appears to be getting attention from weekend boaters. "I know it was 'Salty,' the boat, the sailboat he's supposedly bought, so you know every once in a while I looked out to see if I saw it or not," said Pedro Rodriguez.

One thing is certain -- Joshua Hakken is a very smart man, who has continued to stay one step ahead of authorities from the very start. It appears the 35-year-old planned the kidnapping weeks in advance, which started by tying up the kids' grandmother at her home on Shady Shores Drive in Tampa on Wednesday.

He then hopped into a black 2006 GMC pickup truck, which was found abandoned at a John's Pass parking garage on Thursday night.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's investigators believe he shuttled his wife and the boys into the 25-foot sailboat around 10 a.m. on Wednesday morning.

Law enforcement concedes that Hakken may have already ditched the boat and is on the run on dry land. 

"They could (have) easily got on the boat and then had enough time to get off the boat and get into another car," said Larry McKinnon, a spokesperson with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

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