Coast Guard seeks owner of life jacket found in search area

USCG file photo

BOSTON – The Coast Guard is searching for the owner of a life jacket discovered floating inside of a search area off the coast of Block Island, R.I., Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2010.

Coast Guard personnel believe the life jacket, found by a fisherman in the area, may be linked to the sighting of multiple flares in the area.

The Coast Guard launched a search for a possible person in distress after receiving reports from three separate witnesses of multiple flare sightings between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 2.

A Falcon Jet crew from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod searched Tuesday night and Wednesday morning for indications of a person in the water.

A Jayhawk helicopter crew and the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Tybee joined the search Wednesday morning and are still currently searching.

The crews have searched the area from Castle Hill, R.I., to Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., and extending approximately 37 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard.

“We aren’t sure if the life jacket has anything to do with the flare sightings, but we want to make sure we cover all our bases in case someone does need our help,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Carson Russell, the operations unit controller at Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England. “We are asking if anyone knows where the jacket may have come from or if they recently lost one, please call us and let us know if this might belong to them.”

The life jacket was found by the crew of the fishing boat Tradition, based in New Bedford, Mass., at 10:46 a.m., approximately 35 miles southeast of Block Island.

The on-scene weather is 10-knot winds, 1-2 foot seas with good visibility. The water temperature is 54 degrees.

The Tybee is a 110-foot cutter based in Woods Hole, Mass.

Anyone with information regarding the life jacket is encouraged to call Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England at 508-457-3211.

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