Deputies searching for missing boater near Bradenton

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MANATEE COUNTY - The search continues for a missing Palmetto High School teacher after he left on his boat and didn't return. Authorities are still looking for him, despite that fact that they recovered his unoccupied boat near Tampa Bay Monday.

Sometime Sunday, Palmetto High media specialist Pat Mullins headed out in his 16-foot Stump Knocker boat from an inlet on the Braden River that backs up to his house, and never made it back. His wife Jill arrived home at 7pm to find that he was missing.

His boat was recovered Monday afternoon floating near Egmont Key, just north of Anna Maria Island, but Mullins was nowhere to be found.

“It's been a long time. We're really worried, and I'm concerned with the length of time at this point." His sister-in-law Kim Mullins says the family is hoping for his safe return, but they're pulling all resources to try and find him. "We do have search and rescue involved, helicopters have been in the air, we have a lot of family, friends and law enforcement looking in the water for him."

Mullins is described as an avid boater and excellent swimmer, making the circumstances of his disappearance all the more worrisome. "He may be ill…this is totally out of character to be gone this length of time."

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Patrick Mullins, you are asked to please contact The Manatee County Sheriff's Office at (941) 747-3011 ext. 2260 or 2274.