Coast Guard Continues Search for Missing Fishing Boat

BOSTON – The Coast Guard today continues searching Nantucket Sound for fishing vessel Lady of Grace and its four person crew, missing since 10 p.m. Friday.

The crew of the 75-foot dragger is identified as Antonio Barroqueiro, Rogerio Vendura, Mario Farinha, and Joao Silva.

The Coast Guard detected a signal from missing boat’s vessel monitoring system transponder via satilite. The signal last indicated the boat’s location to be stationery and near an oil sheen 11 nautical miles north of Nantucket, near the boat’s last known position. Coast Guard cutters and small boats heavily saturated this area.

A Station Menemsha 47-foot Motor Life Boat brought members of the Southeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council to the scene, which deployed underwater cameras and sonar. This equipment has detected an image beneath the surface consistent with that of a sunken fishing boat.

A Law Enforcement Council dive team are on board Coast Guard Cutter Hammerhead, an 87-foot patrol boat home ported in Woods Hole, Mass. The divers are expected to enter the water and determine if the image is in fact the missing boat.

Weather conditions are favorable for the search, and the Coast Guard will continue looking for any sign of the vessel’s crew while the divers explore an area of interest detected by the sonar and video camera.

Coast Guard air craft and surface vessels have been looking for the fishing boat since early Saturday morning after it did not arrive at New Bedford harbor as expected.

The Coast Guard so far has conducted 25 separate searches covering over 6,000 square miles using an HU-25 Falcon jet and an HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Cape Cod. On the water, Coast Guard Cutters Bainbridge Island, Hammerhead and Seneca have been involved in the search, as well as small boats from Stations Menemsha, Brant Point and Woods Hole.

Source: USCG D1 Public Affairs

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