Body of one of the two missing boaters discovered

A Colorado college student and a local man remain missing in cold and windy conditions.

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. --  The body of one of two boaters who were swept away while swimming in the Gulf of Mexico last week has been located.   The search continues for the other.  

Investigators say the body found is that of Andrew Dillman, 27, from New York.  He and Jie Luo, 21, from China were reported missing from a 50-foot yacht near Pass-A-Grille in South Pinellas around 6 p.m. Tuesday.

According to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, Dillman's body was discovered in the water west of Egmont Key. He along with Jie Luo has been missing since Tuesday, March 14. 

Officials say a group of 15 college students from Colorado State University chartered the 71-foot yacht Jaguar and were out enjoying their trip. They decided to stop for a little while at Shell Key and five of the boaters got out to swim -- despite strong winds and rough waters.

When they realized it was a dangerous decision they tried to make it back, but only four were able to do so successfully. Dillman jumped into the water to help the Luo, but unfortunately, both got swept away.

The search continued Wednesday as crews from Pinellas County Sheriff's Office and the U.S. Coast Guard patrolled the waters looking for the two men. Crews have made 22 searches and covered 419 square miles.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri held a press conference with the latest on the search.

Colorado State University released a statement that the school is gathering more details about the incident and will share them with the public later.

The safety and well-being of our students is our top priority and we are very concerned to hear of what has happened in Florida. We are gathering details and when we learn more from law enforcement, we will share information that we are able to provide. The thoughts and hope of our CSU community are for the safety of our students involved in this incident, with the missing student and charter mate and families and friends of those involved, and for the safety of rescue crews who are involved in the search.

This is a developing story. Check back with 10News for updates.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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