Coast Guard searching for owner of unmanned boat on Martha’s Vineyard, seeks public’s assistance

1st Coast Guard District News
BOSTON — The Coast Guard is seeking information from the public to identify the owner of an unmanned sailboat found ashore on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, Friday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England received a call at about 10 p.m. 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, a 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. “We have multiple crews searching the entire body of water from Naushon Island to Martha’s Vineyard – but we don’t have any additional information about the vessel or its owner.”

Anyone with information about the boat, its owner, or his or her whereabouts is urged to call the Southeastern New England Command Center at (508) 457-3211.

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