Coast Guard locates man reported overdue near Powells Point, NC

5th Coast Guard District News
PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard located a 70-year-old man Thursday who was reported overdue Wednesday near Powells Point, N.C.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Station Oregon Inlet initially received a phone call from the man’s wife at 8:42 p.m. Wednesday, reporting her husband was overdue from a fishing trip near the Wright Memorial Bridge.

The man was located aboard his boat on the North River by a Coast Guard Station Elizabeth City boatcrew aboard a 24-foot Special Purpose Craft-Shallow Water boat at 7:22 a.m. Thursday.

Coast Guard 24-foot Special Purpose Craft - Shallow Water

U.S. Coast Guard file photo:  24-foot Special Purpose Craft – Shallow-Water

The man stated he beached his 14-foot, camouflaged, jon boat and slept in it through the night rather than risk running out of fuel while en route to the boat ramp.

The station crewmembers put the jon boat into tow and took the man to Coinjock Marina where the man’s wife arranged to meet him.

Coast Guard Sector North Carolina watchstanders were initially unable to reach the man via cell phone or VHF-FM marine band radio and issued an urgent marine information broadcast. Sector watchstanders then contacted the man’s cellular carrier who provided information that directed the search to the North River.

“The Coast Guard would like to remind mariners that cellular phones are not a reliable means of communication on the water,” said Lt. Kevin Sullivan of Sector North Carolina. “A marine band VHF-FM radio is the preferred means of communicating with the Coast Guard.”

Also involved in the search were a boatcrew aboard a 25-foot Response Boat-small from Station Oregon Inlet, an aircrew aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City and the Currituck County Sheriff’s Office. The search area included Currituck Sound, Coinjock Bay and the intercoastal waterway.

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