Coast Guard identifies owner of unmanned boat on Martha’s Vineyard

1st Coast Guard District News
BOSTON — The Coast Guard identified Saturday the owner of an unmanned sailboat found ashore on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, Friday.

After an extensive search by federal and local authorities, the owner called the Coast Guard, claimed the boat, and explained he left it on the beach.

Initially, watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England received a call at about 10 p.m., Friday from the Dukes County Police Department that the unmarked 13-foot Hobie Cat “wave” model was washed ashore with the sail up and the rudder down. It was reported to have lines hanging and dirty footprints on the deck.

In response, boat crews from Coast Guard Station Woods Hole and Coast Guard Station Menemsha, an aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, and the Coast Guard Cutters Ridley and Hammerhead all began canvasing the area for possible people in the water.

Local police went from house to house in the nearby area in attempt to locate the owner.

At first light, an aircrew aboard an HC-144a Ocean Sentry search aircraft from Air Station Cape Cod and Coast Guard Auxiliary Aircraft conducted searches.

“A case like this illustrates why it’s extremely important for folks to document their vessels and make them easily identifiable,” said Richard Elliott, the command duty officer at Sector Southeastern New England.

He said they had multiple crews searching the entire body of water from Naushon Island to Martha’s Vineyard.

But until the owner contacted them, they had no additional information about the vessel or its owner he said.

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