ROCKLAND, Maine — The search for two people who were aboard a fishing boat that sank on Saturday afternoon ended Sunday, according to a statement from the Coast Guard.
One person who had been aboard the vessel, called No Limits, was found alive in a life raft by a Coast Guard helicopter Saturday evening. He was rescued and taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland.
The Coast Guard had determined that there were two other people on board when the ship went down, but they had not been found as of Sunday afternoon when the search stopped.
“Whenever our fellow mariners remain missing, especially after an extensive search, it has a huge impact on all us in the local coastal community,” said Lt. Cdmr. Timm Balunis, the search and rescue coordinator at Sector Northern New England in Portland.
“We ask the community to keep the missing crew and their families in their thoughts and prayers during this difficult time,” he said.
The Coast Guard searched for 17 hours, covering an area of 130 square miles before efforts to locate the missing people people came to end, the statement said.
The first snowstorm of the season, which has brought as much as 50 mph winds to the coast of Maine, made the search more dangerous and difficult, Coast Guard spokesman Ross Ruddell said.
“Our crews do train in some of the worst weather nature can provide,” he added.
On Saturday, the water temperature was in the high 50s, but it likely dropped overnight because of the storm, he said.
A helicopter that was supposed to launch Sunday morning to continue the search was not able to do so because of icing, he said.
The 45-foot fishing boat, which is based in Cushing, sank near Matinicus Island, Ruddell said. The Coast Guard’s command center in Boston received a distress call in the afternoon, before they lost contact with the vessel.
A wide-scale rescue effort ensued, which included a helicopter from the air station in Cape Cod and a lifeboat from the Coast Guard station in Rockland. Ruddell said one local good Samaritan also went out to aid in the search.
The air crew spotted a flare, which turned out to be the lone survivor in the life raft.