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Coast Guard suspends search for survivors of burning boat spotted off Venice Pier

November 18, 2009 |  4:49 pm

CASEYLYNN The U.S. Coast Guard has ended its search for two possible survivors following the discovery of a burning 27-foot boat two miles off the Venice Pier yesterday.

Coast Guard helicopters and ships searched 148 nautical miles of sea before suspending the search at 11:10 a.m. today, according to Lt. j.g. Tyler Stutin. The search began immediately after witnesses spotted the Casey Lynn burning at sea. Authorities were initially told that two people were seen aboard the boat, but a witness said later that they may have been mistaken.

The registered owner is Michael Martinez of Woodland Hills, according to Stutin. Authorities have attempted to contact Martinez but had not reached him as of Wednesday afternoon. His neighbors told KABC-TV  Channel 7 that mail has been piling up at the residence.

The vessel was towed back to shore after Los Angeles County Fire Department lifeguards doused the flames at sea. A small, inflatable Zodiac raft was lashed to the rear of the boat.

Arson investigators are now trying to determine what happened.

-- Monte Morin 

Photo: Authorities examine the burned remains of the Casey Lynn. Credit: KTLA