BOSTON — A group of about 25 canoers were found safe on Long Island, Maine, Tuesday morning, more than 14 hours after they made a distress call while disoriented by heavy fog.
The U.S. Coast Guard ended its search after crews and a pair of rescue boats from the Southwest Harbor Station spent the night looking for the person who radioed the distress call at 7:43 p.m. Monday from Blue Hill Bay, west of Mount Desert Island. During the distress call, a male individual communicated his position by radio without indicating the nature of emergency or the name of a vessel.
Coast Guard searchers discovered the group of 25 school members with 10 canoes camped at 10:26 a.m. Tuesday on Long Island. The group leader reported making the distress call after becoming disoriented in the fog and being caught up in the tidal current, according to a U.S. Coast Guard press release.
The caller did not hear the Coast Guard’s response and came upon Long Island soon after making the distress call. The group camped the night as planned and are not under distress, according to the release.
Severe fog had hampered search efforts throughout the night with visibility less than 10 feet.
The release stated that the Coast Guard in the Northeast conducts more than 350 search-and-rescue cases every year and recommends all boaters wear their life jackets and have a VHF marine-band radio at all times.