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Coast Guard Suspends Search for Missing Boater [UPDATED]

No signs of debris or distress were found during the 12-hour search along the shoreline.


Update as of 1:00 p.m. Saturday (May 12):

The search effort to locate a reported person in the water near West Haven has been suspended after rescue crews were unable to locate any signs of distress this morning.

“Coast Guard and local agencies conducted an extensive searched for 12 hours covering more than 500 square miles based on the information we received,” said Peter Winters, the search and rescue coordinator at Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound, in a press release. “We have decided to suspend our active search pending the development of new information."

The Coast Guard received no reports of any vessel being overdue or unaccounted for. Agencies involved in the search included:

Update as of 12:00 p.m. Saturday:

The U.S. Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound station reports that the HU-25 Falcon Jet, a medium-range surveillance fixed-wing aircraft used to perform search and rescue, has completed a sweep of Long Island Sound in the area where a boater was reported missing Friday night.

A spokesman said there is still no sign of the missing boater and that Coast Guard officials are meeting to assess the situation and determine next steps.

The Falcon Jet was flown in from the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod (ASCC), at the Massachusetts Military Reservation on Cape Cod, to help with the search, after search efforts by local fire department rescue boats, a Coast Guard helicopter and a Coast Guard cutter from the New London base were not able to find the missing boater, who called in a distress signal Friday night.

The Original Report Follows:

The U.S. Coast Guard and local emergency responders are searching for a boater who reportedly hit a rock and started taking on water near West Haven late last night.

A dispatcher from the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound stationed in New Haven said initial reports indicate that one adult male was on board, and that he reported striking a reef in Long Island Sound near Chick's Drive In in West Haven, which is off of Beach Street near Morse Park in West Haven.

The dispatcher said fire departments from Madison, Guilford, East Haven, Branford, and West Haven initially responded to the call, which came in around 10:49 p.m. Friday.

"We [the Coast Guard] are still currently searching," he said Saturday morning. "As far as we know it was one adult male. He didn't give us a whole lot of information. He said he struck a reef off of Chick's Drive In in West Haven, he was taking on water, he was shooting off flares and abandoning ship."

The dispatcher said the U.S. Coast Guard helicopter did a search Friday night and that the USCG's 87-foot patrol boat headquartered in New London, the Coast Guard Cutter Chinook, is currently searching. A Coast Guard jet from U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod (ASCC), located at the Massachusetts Military Reservation on Cape Cod, is en route to help with the search.

Patch will provide updates as information becomes available.

Pem McNerney (Editor) May 12, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Excellent point. This just in: The Coast Guard just sent a new press release announcing the search has been suspended because "rescue crews were unable to locate any signs of distress this morning. The search was suspended at approximately 10 a.m. after Coast Guard air and boat crews along with local agencies, searched throughout the night and into the morning and were unable to find any debris."
SolarPete May 13, 2012 at 12:59 PM
sound to me like this was a false call for help or they had no idea where they were when they went down The cost to save their lives were expensive and yet who ever placed the call might be laughing. Too many calls are fake, but the Coast Guard will do what theyneed to so a life can be saved

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