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US Coast Guard Searches for 3 Missing Boaters in Hernando Beach

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The Coast Guard is looking for a Tampa area boater.  (Photo credit: ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)

The Coast Guard is looking for a Tampa area boater. (Photo credit: ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)

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HERNANDO BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for three missing boaters in the Gulf of Mexico.

The search began Sunday night when three people failed to return to Hernando Beach in the Tampa Bay area. They had been expected to return about 5 p.m.

Television station Bay News 9 reports conditions in the Gulf were rough and a small craft advisory was in effect on Sunday.

Officials say a Coast Guard crew left from nearby Clearwater to conduct the search.

No further details were immediately available.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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