Coast Guard suspends search for boat driver

1st Coast Guard District NewsBOSTON – The Coast Guard has suspended its search near Popponesset Island, Mass., for the 21-year-old East Falmouth, Mass., native, at 12:09 p.m., June 22, 2011.

“It’s disappointing that we weren’t able to bring him home to his family … it’s always hard to come back empty-handed,” said Chief Petty Officer Brian Guarino, the officer in charge of Station Woods Hole, who was on scene for eight hours, Tuesday.

Coast Guard crews from Station Woods Hole, Air Station Cape Cod and the Coast Guard Cutter Hammerhead extensively searched a total of 180 square miles for nearly 24 hours.

“We received a tremendous amount of help from the local police and fire departments, environmental police and harbormasters,” Guarino said. “Without these partners we wouldn’t have been able to fully saturate the area, especially in the shallow areas where our boats couldn’t go.”

Crews from the Coast Guard Auxiliary; Hyannis, Falmouth, and Massachusetts Marine Environmental Police; Popponesset Bay, Hyannis, Centerville, Cotuit, and Mashpee fire departments; Mashpee Police Department; and Hyannis and Popponesset Bay harbormasters also searched for the missing boater.

Crews began searching for the man after a Good Samaritan reported seeing a boat driving in circles with no one on board about two miles outheast of Popponesset Island at 12:30, p.m., June 21, 2011.

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