KITTERY, Maine — The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended the search for a Maine boater who went missing in New Hampshire’s Portsmouth Harbor as Hurricane Earl approached.
The Coast Guard said Saturday night that 29 hours of searching that featured 14 helicopter and airplane sorties failed to locate 63-year-old Shapleigh resident Robert Schultze. The search is suspended pending further developments.
The air and sea search began before the arrival of Earl’s remnants with the discovery of Schultze’s abandoned motorboat anchored near Kitts Rock on Friday afternoon. The storm’s arrival hindered the search. Boat keys, wetsuits and a license were found.
Maine and New Hampshire Marine patrols and local fireboats joined in the search, which focused Saturday on the Maine shoreline near Kittery and York.
Relatives of Robert Schultze, 63, of Shapleigh, said in a statement that he was fishing near Whaleback Light, an old lighthouse. Schultze, who was “very familiar with these waters,” had packed a lunch, and his boat was in good condition, they said.
Earl was much weaker than anticipated when it touched the region Friday, but it kicked up dangerous riptides up and down the East Coast. Fog, wind and roiling seas hindered the search for Schultze.