Coast Guard ends search for missing lobsterman

BOSTON – The Coast Guard ended its search today for a lobsterman whose vessel capsized near the Isle of Shoals off the coast of Portsmouth, NH, Sunday.

“Ending a search is one of the hardest decisions to make,” said Capt. James Rendon, commanding officer of Sector Northern New England. “We thoroughly covered the area with air and surface assets in hopes of finding Mr. Tobey. Our heart-felt sympathies go out to his family and friends and the entire fishing community.”

Coast Guard Station Portsmouth Harbor received a call around 10 a.m., today from the daughter of Christopher Tobey, of Kittery, Maine, the owner of the 40-foot lobster boat Save-a-buck, reporting that Tobey, his teenage son and a third crewmember had not returned from their fishing trip.

The trio left around 10 a.m., Sunday, and was due to be back at 5 p.m. that day.

Two 47-foot boat crews from Station Portsmouth Harbor, a boat crew from Station Merrimack River, the Jefferson Island, a 110-foot patrol boat based out of Portland, Maine, a Jayhawk helicopter crew and Falcon jet crew, both from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, Mass., conducted 13 searches, covering approximately 270 square miles to find Tobey.

Tobey’s 16-year-old son and another crew member were found on Duck Island earlier this afternoon by the Amanda T, a local fishing vessel. The vessel J.B. Heiser rescued the pair from the island. The J.B. Heiser then transported them to a Station Portsmouth Harbor boat crew, who took them back to the station where they were met by ambulances.

The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the incident.

Editor’s Note: The initial report of the vessel being 44-feet is incorrect. The correct length of the lobster boat is 40-feet.

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