Coast Guard ends search for Maine man

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine – The Coast Guard ended its search at 4 p.m., today for a Lubec, Maine, man who went missing Tuesday night while he was harvesting periwinkles at low tide in the Lubec Narrows near Eastport, Maine.

Christopher Ferguson, 30, and Dennis Knox, both of Lubec, went to the narrows, which are adjacent to the Canadian Island, Campobello, together but separated to look for the sea snails. Knox later heard his friend yelling for help and responded by running to shore to get assistance.

Two Coast Guard boats, a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter, a Canadian Coast Guard helicopter, a Maine Marine Patrol boat, Washington County sheriffs, the Lubec Fire Department, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police saturated the area during the 17-hour search for Ferguson. The total search effort included more than 60 responders and covered 27 square nautical miles.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Ferguson’s family and friends,” said Capt. James McPherson, commanding officer of Sector Northern New England. “Ending a search is one of the most difficult decisions I’m forced to make.”

Though the wind and seas were calm for the search, the 20-foot tidal range and 6-knot current, one of the strongest in the country, made it difficult at times for boats to access the area. Lubec firemen and Canadian policemen augmented the efforts by searching along the shorelines. Cold air and water temperatures, 38 and 48 degrees respectively, posed additional concerns during the search.

“It’s times like these when we really value our relationships with partner agencies,” McPherson said. “The Maine Marine Patrol, Washington County sheriffs, Lubec Fire Department, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Canadian Coast Guard all helped us tremendously throughout this search. It’s extremely frustrating for the Coast Guard to expend this level of effort and not find any evidence of the missing person in this confined area.”

If you have any problems viewing this article, please report it here.