Coast Guard suspends search for missing clammer

47-Foot Motor Lifeboat file photo by Chief Mark Coady

47-Foot Motor Lifeboat file photo by Chief Mark Coady

BOSTON — The Coast Guard suspended its search Friday for a missing man who did not return from a clamming trip near Long Cove, Maine, Thursday evening.

Missing is 33-year-old Paul Benner.

A family member alerted the Department of Public Safety in Augusta, Maine, to the situation Thursday, resulting in a request for Coast Guard Sector Northern New England assistance by Maine Marine Patrol.

The family reported that Benner departed from the Long Cove Boat Ramp at 5 p.m. to clam on Clark Island off Long Cove, and did not return later in the evening.

Benner was reported to be in a 16-foot skiff that matches the description of an unmanned skiff found near Long Cove last night.

Three Coast Guard 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crews from Coast Guard Stations Boothbay Harbor and Rockland searched overnight and through Friday.

Two helicopter crews from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod searched by air.

Knox County Sheriff’s Office personnel conducted patrols on foot, MMP, and State Police Dive Team assisted with searches in the water.

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