Search under way for missing US Olympic sailor off Florida

MIAMI (REUTERS) - Searchers scoured the waters off Miami on Friday for a member of the 2012 US Olympic sailing team after his boat washed up at a marina the previous night, US Coast Guard officials said.

A 5m boat littered with personal items belonging to Trevor Moore, 30, was found on Thursday at a marina about 8km south of downtown Miami, not far from his home, authorities and an Olympic team spokesman said.

Moore's family later identified the vessel as his, according Liz Barraco, a spokeswoman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

It was the same style two-man vessel - known as a 49er - that Moore sailed for the United States in London during the 2012 summer games, according to US Coast Guard spokesman Ryan Doss.

He did not win an Olympic medal.

It was unclear when Moore was last seen, why he may have been in the boat or where he may have been travelling, authorities said.

"At some point during his trip, we can see on the GPS tracker that his speed and direction changed," Barraco said.

A pair of helicopters and several boats, with the help of some volunteers, searched the waters off Miami's shores, according to US Coast Guard spokesman Jon-Paul Rios.

Until a year ago, Moore was training for a spot in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil but stopped due to an injury, said US Olympic sailing spokesman Will Ricketson.

"You need to be very strong and athletic in order to sail one of these boats," Ricketson said.

"He is one of the best athletes on our team and one of the best sailors in the US."