Coast Guard, local and state agencies continue search for missing person near Monhegan Island

1st Coast Guard District NewsBOSTON — The U.S. Coast Guard, state and local agencies, and several good Samaritans continue to search for the 32-year-old man who was swept out to sea by a wave near Monhegan Island, Maine, Friday.

After the man was swept off the island, four of his friends entered the water and swam about 300 yards to Gull Rock in an attempt to rescue him before losing sight of him.

Three of the men were able to climb off the rocks to safety on their own, but a woman needed to be airlifted to safety by a Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Cape Cod, Mass.

Currently a 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew from Coast Guard Station Boothbay Harbor and the helicopter are on scene. The 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Hammerhead was expected around 9 p.m., and is scheduled to remain on scene throughout the night as necessary.

“We are deploying every asset available to us and we plan to keep searching throughout the night with every hope for a successful outcome,” said Chief Petty Officer Couling, the command duty officer at Coast Guard Sector Northern New England.

Crews from the Maine Marine Patrol, Monhegan Island Volunteer Fire Department, and good Samaritans aboard a kayak, dory, lobster vessel, the recreational vessel Balmy Days, and the ferry Elizabeth Ann have assisted with the search.

The five friends were reportedly on the island to attend a wedding party when the incident occurred.

No injuries have been reported.

The Coast Guard is urging mariners and beachgoers to be especially careful on and around the water due to significant rip currents and waves in the area caused by Hurricane Katia. The Coast Guard also recommends listening to weather broadcasts and heeding all warnings.

“If you are caught in a rip current, the best thing for you to do is remain calm and swim parallel to the shore,” said Lt. Colleen McClusker, the recreational safe boating officer for Coast Guard Sector Northern New England. “Don’t fight the current. If you can’t reach shore, float or tread water until you are out of the current. We also recommend that, whenever possible, wear a life jacket while on the water and never swim alone.”

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