PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) - The owner of a 48-foot Mexican yacht that mysteriously ran ashore in Florida with no one onboard and its engines running said Thursday that he had reported it stolen from a Cancun marina days earlier.
Arturo Millet Reyes said the yacht was taken from private marina on Saturday and that he reported the theft to local police. Millet, 43, who owns a professional soccer team in the Mexican state of Yucatan, said the Mexican Coast Guard had been on the lookout for the yacht.
"I am was very worried about what had happened," Millet told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "My first concern was what they were going to do with the boat, if they were going to traffic drugs or something."
The yacht, named "Makin Waves," washed ashore midmorning Wednesday on Redding Beach, which is west of St. Petersburg on Florida's Gulf Coast and about 480 miles away from Cancun. Resident Gene Borg was relaxing at home when he saw it approaching the shore.
"I see boats all the time - it's one of the joys of living here - but this one was coming straight in at the beach," Borg said. "I hollered at my wife to call 911 and I put on my bathing suit out of concern someone was having a medical emergency."
Borg entered the water and found no one inside the boat.
Investigators said they saw no signs of violence on the boat, which they planned to tow away Thursday afternoon.
Millet said officials told him that the plasma TVs had been removed from the boat. He did not know what other damage may have been done to the yacht, which sells for about $1 million new. Millet said he has stored the yacht at the Cancun marina since he bought it in 2008.
Millet owns the soccer team Merida F.C., which plays in Mexico's second-tier league.
The U.S. Coast Guard searched by air and sea Wednesday for anyone who may have been on the abandoned yacht, but suspended the search Thursday.