Aviation authorities tend to have rigid rules about what is defined as an "over water" flight and under what terms it is allowed or prohibited. Even commercially, flights from NYC
to FLL were forced to stay inland (a much longer route) instead of taking the direct "line", if the aircraft did not have full ocean survival equipment
on it. And when aircraft were often acquired in a merger or brought in from inland routes? No ocean life rafts on board? Too bad, even the commercial
carriers had to remain on a coastal route
, or go inland.
So I can see that private pilots, CAP, and others might not want to risk a loss of their pilot's license
liability, and outright monetary sanctions "just for an empty boat". In all types of emergency
response training these days, the old USCG maxim of "you have to go out but you don't have to come back" has been thoroughly obsoleted. Safety
of the responder is paramount, because with no responder, there is no
further response possible.
"My only means of communications is via email, having left my phone on the boat as well
The OP is missing an opportunity here. A free Google
number, and other options using VOIP, exist. Open a Google
account, set up a free GVoice number, change the message to say you are offline but can return calls the next morning, whatever. Perhaps ask someone if they can take messages for him. All done from computer and since the OP still has computer access, he DOES HAVE PHONE ACCESS. Perhaps not instant, constant, and convenient, but he can set up access--without the costs of a cell phone
. Calls can also be made FROM that same computer.
The boat was seen. Floating. And for most of the past month, winds have been from the east, blowing onto the SE Florida
shoreline. So there's no reason to give up yet.