The United States Coast Guard (USCG) has now suspended its active search for a 26-year old man who was lost from of the fishing vessel Karen Elizabeth about ½ mile off Point Judith Friday morning pending further developments.
OS-1 Seth Caron out of USCG Station Woods Hole, Massachusetts and Lieutenant Schmid from First Coast Guard District in Boston reported on Saturday morning that the search for the missing fisherman was suspended around 5 p.m. Friday evening after the USCG spent the day searching the seas with a 25-foot response boat from Station Point Judith and an MH-60 Jayhawk out of Air Station Cape Cod, with no results.
Shmid reported that according to the USCG reporting source, the man allegedly grabbed an undisclosed amount of on-board equipment with negative buoyancy and went overboard wearing a grey sweatshirt and jeans between 8 and 9 a.m. The missing man’s attire, combined with air temperatures around freezing and a sea temperature of 34 degrees factored into a maximum survival time of about five hours, according to officials.
Three-foot seas and 20-knot winds were reported at the time of the man’s disappearance, according to the Shmid. “It’s someone’s family member, we’d want to keep searching as long as we could,” Caron said. “In this case we searched from 8:30 a.m. to approximately 5:30 at night. That’s accurate for what the gentleman was wearing.”
Shmid sated the FV Karen Elizabeth is in port, and the Coast Guard is conducting a full investigation into the incident to determine cause. According to Shmid the victim’s identity will be released after the investigation is closed and next of kin notification is conducted. Shmid added that local police have already notified the family of the victim.
According to multiple media reports, the search for a missing 26-year-old man has now become a recovery effort after he fell from a fishing boat and into the icy water below.
The Providence Journal’s Tatiana Pina reports that the man fell from the fishing boat the Karen Elizabeth about 1.5 miles south on Point Judith at about 9:30 a.m. A Coast Guard official said that based on the 34-degree water and 32-degree air, the maximum survival time was about five hours. WPRO first reported the story at 9:51 a.m.
According to an online records search, the Karen Elizabeth is a 78.5-foot, diesel-powered commercial fishing vessel. The boat is registered to South Kingstown-based Salt Pond Fisheries, Inc.
Narragansett Patch will update this story as more details become available.