Coast Guard respond to report of overdue boaters

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – The Coast Guard, with local and state agencies, responded to a report of a father and son who were overdue from a fishing trip this morning in the rivers and bays of Delaware.

Personnel at Coast Guard Station Indian River, in Rehoboth Beach, Del., were contacted just after midnight Wednesday and were notified that David Pierson, 38, and son Jacob Pierson, 9, from Milton, Del., were expected back from a fishing trip by sunset Wednesday.

The Piersons reportedly departed the West Bay Trailer Park in Rehoboth Bay aboard their 22-foot pontoon boat with plans to fish in the Rehoboth and Indian River Bays. The Coast Guard immediately began issuing urgent marine information broadcasts, alerting mariners to the search and requesting they keep a sharp lookout and contact the Coast Guard with any information. According to the reporting source, the pontoon boat did not have a marine radio.

Boatcrews from Coast Guard Station Indian River, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, and the Indian River Volunteer Fire Company began searching the area for the father and son.

At 1:27 a.m., one of the two Indian River Volunteer Fire Company boatcrews located the pontoon boat disabled and anchored in Rehoboth Bay. The fire company crew transported the Piersons to Massey’s Ditch and released them in good health.

The Coast Guard urges mariners to carry marine band radios aboard their vessels and to file float plans prior to getting underway. Carrying a marine band radio is a reliable way to communicate while on the water. Filing a float plan, which is simply telling a friend or family member where you are going and when you will be back, may help provide valuable information to rescue crews in the event of an emergency on the water.

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