Coast Guard finds missing Naples doctor’s boat empty off Sanibel coast

Published: August 11, 2022 11:30 AM EDT
Updated: August 11, 2022 10:26 PM EDT

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Coast Guard are searching for a missing Naples doctor. His boat has been found, but with no sign of him.

The sheriff’s office says Chaundre Cross, 49, was last seen leaving the Naples Bay Marina around 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday on his boat, ‘Vitamin Sea.’ Deputies say his family became concerned when he didn’t return home.

Cross is described as being five feet 11 inches tall, 150 pounds, with a bald head and brown eyes. Deputies say he was last seen wearing a purple shirt and black pants.

Cross’ boat. (Credit U.S. Coast Guard)

The Coast Guard says Cross’ 34-foot boat was found off the coast of Sanibel on Thursday afternoon, but there was no sign of Cross. They say they have been unable to track him via his cellphone.

The Coast Guard says they will continue to search for Cross throughout the night and is currently using everything at their disposal to find him.

“We can use the location of the vessel and kind of do an expanding square box searches out from that spot and just pass over in different directions, and hopefully we hear something, or we see something that directs us,” said Petty Officer First Class Ayla Hudson.

WINK News has learned that Cross is a cancer doctor with offices in Bonita Springs and Naples.

Family members and his team at Genesis Care are concerned for his safety.

“Our first priority is the safety and well-being of our employees and patients. We, of course, are concerned for the well-being of Dr. Cross. We’re here to support all of our employees to ensure the continuation of care for our patients,” said Angharad Bhardwaj, communications director for Genesis Care.

Alya Hudson is a public affairs specialist for the United States Coast Guard.

“We can use the location of the vessel and kind of do an expanding square box searches out from that spot,” said Hudson.

“If there was any sort of debris in the water that’s a point for us to search from,” said Hudson.

“We also have the Coast Guard cutter crocodile out there which is home ported in Fort Myers Beach so they can stay on scene and continue to do search patterns throughout the night,” said Hudson.

Dr. Cross is a radiation oncologist at Genesis Care. He is an expert in prostate, breast, and brain cancers. He served as president of the Cancer Alliance of Naples board and is a member of other local health organizations.

Last year, WINK News interviewed him for World Cancer Day. Where he showed us a new life-changing machine that will help treat patients.

Anyone with information about Cross’s location is asked to call the Collier County Sheriff’s Office at 239-252-9300 or the U.S. Coast Guard at 727-824-7506.