April 22, 2018
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Coast Guard suspends search off Vinalhaven

By Kevin Miller, BDN Staff

BELFAST, Maine – The Coast Guard has suspended a search of the waters near Vinalhaven for an unknown fisherman who said he was forced to abandon his sinking vessel on Saturday.

The Coast Guard launched a large search and rescue operation involving a boat and three aircraft after receiving a distress call late Saturday morning from someone reporting his boat had sunk somewhere between Vinalhaven and Deer Isle. The man said he had a hand-held radio but was not wearing a cold-water survival suit.

Officers from the Maine Marine Patrol and two civilian also assisted in the extensive search, which lasted the entire afternoon. None of the search crews found any evidence of the man or the vessel, however.

“We had good search weather, and we were out in force,” said Lt. Robert B. Hollis with the Coast Guard Sector Northern New England. “We did not locate a person, a vessel or debris.”

Hollis said the Coast Guard also has not been notified of any missing persons. He described the situation as “uncertain” Saturday evening.

The distress caller identified himself as being on a fishing vessel with a name that sounded like “Steven Bowden.” Hollis said crews did not find any records of a vessel after scanning all variations of spellings of the given name.

Hollis said the Coast Guard is looking for any information on the incident and may release a recording of the distress call.

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