Coast Guard crew suspends search for missing Rhode Island fisherman

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – The Coast Guard ended its search today for Philip Ruhle, 58, a fisherman who went missing when his 80-foot fishing boat capsized and sank 45-miles east of Atlantic City, N.J., Wednesday.

The search was suspended at sunset today.

Coast Guard crews conducted eight sorties, searching for approximately 32.7 hours, totaling 3,173 overlapping square nautical miles, larger than the state of Delaware.

Without any signs of Ruhle or the sunken 80-foot fishing boat, the Coast Guard has suspended its search pending further information.

The Coast Guard received a distress signal at approximately 10 p.m. Wednesday from an electronic position indicating radio beacon, an emergency device used to signal distress, from the fishing boat Sea Breeze with three people aboard.

The Coast Guard search consisted of crews from the following units:

* Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City, N.J.
* Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C.
* Coast Guard Cutter Beluga, a 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Norfolk Va.
* Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, Mass.

The cause of the incident is currently under investigation by personnel from Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay in Philadelphia.

The Coast Guard wants all mariners to know that beginning Feb. 1, 2009, only distress alerts from 406 MHz beacons will continue to be detected and processed by search and rescue satellites worldwide. Older model Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons or Emergency Locator Transmitters that only transmit a distress alert on 121.5 MHz or 243 MHz will not be instantly sent to search and rescue personnel. The only way these signals might be heard is by a passive radio listener tuned in to the 121.5/243 MHz frequencies.

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