Coast Guard suspends search for a possible missing person near Black Rock Creek

Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod's MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Nicole J. Groll)

USCG MH-60 File Photo

BOSTON — The Coast Guard has suspended its search Wednesday for a possible missing person in the vicinity of Black Rock Creek near the Merrimack River, in Newburyport.

The Salisbury Police Department reported to Coast Guard watchstanders at midnight that someone reported hearing a call for help. The police also reported hearing the cries from shore.

A Coast Guard Station Merrimack River response boat crew, a helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, and local police and fire responders, searched overnight conducting various search patterns in ideal search conditions.

At approximately 7:22 a.m., a fisherman called Coast Guard watchstanders after he heard local media reporting the story.

He said he and his brother were fishing in kayaks near the reported location of distress at the same time the woman reported hearing cries for help. He explained he and his brother were striper fishing about a half mile from each other and had to yell to communicate.

“With the help of the media, we were able to correlate two fishermen who reported being in the vicinity of Black Rock Creek about midnight,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Hertzler, the command center chief at Coast Guard Sector Boston. “The fisherman said they were in the same area yelling to each other, but were not in distress. Based on this information, and the exhaustive search conducted by the Coast Guard air and boat crews, and the local responders, the Coast Guard was able to suspend the search pending additional information.”

Hertzler said she appreciates the assistance from all involved, and that the search was a great team effort.

The fishermen reported they did not see any other boats in distress at the time of the report and the Coast Guard has not received any reports of a missing person in the area.

The Salisbury Police and Fire Department and the New Hampshire State Police assisted in the search.

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