January 22, 2018
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Freeport boater missing off MDI

By Bill Trotter and Dawn Gagnon, Special to the BDN

BAR HARBOR, Maine — A report of a boater missing Tuesday afternoon in Frenchman Bay prompted the Coast Guard and other emergency response agencies to comb the waters off Mount Desert Island in search of the man.

Officials with Coast Guard Maine Marine Patrol, the town of Bar Harbor, and fire departments in Lamoine, Hancock and Sorrento planned to look into the night for the missing boater, identified as Dr. John Myer of Freeport, Chief Petty Officer Randy Bucklin, command duty officer at Coast Guard Sector Northern New England, said late Tuesday night.

“We’re still actively searching,” he said at about 10 p.m. “We’re taking it step by step. Besides our assets, we have locals checking the shoreline.”

According to Bucklin, Myer, who is 55 to 60 years old, last was seen leaving a boatyard in Hancock Point at about 3 p.m., after he dropped off a sailboat there for repairs, Bucklin said. He said Myer left the marina in a 12-foot skiff with a small outboard motor that had been attached to the sailboat.

The distance across the bay from the marina to the village of Salisbury Cove, where the man owns a summer home, is a little over three miles, Bucklin said.

To help in the search, which began shortly after Myer was reported overdue at about 5:45 p.m., Bucklin said the Coast Guard deployed a Falcon jet equipped with infrared heat-seeking and night vision capabilities based out of the Coast Guard’s Air Station Cape Cod. That aircraft was expected to be replaced by a Coast Guard helicopter, also out of Cape Cod, able to search closer to the surface of the ocean, he said.

The Coast Guard also deployed a 25-foot response boat from its Southwest Harbor location, Bucklin said.

He said Myer, who is slender, weighs about 160 pounds and is about 6 feet tall, was wearing a green fleece jacket and jeans when he went missing. He is believed to have had a life preserver with him in the boat but it is unknown whether he had any other safety equipment.

Bucklin said Myer’s wife, who was in Freeport at the time of his disappearance, has been notified.

Police Lt. Jim Pinkham of Bar Harbor said Myer was supposed to contact a friend in Bar Harbor around 6 p.m. The boater and his friend had plans to go to dinner at an Ellsworth restaurant, Pinkham said, but Myer never appeared in Bar Harbor or contacted his friend.

“At this point, we’re still looking for him,” Pinkham said.

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