Coast Guard suspends search for missing sailor in Salisbury

Northeast Atlantic Coast Guard News

BOSTON — The Coast Guard suspended the search at approximately 6 p.m. for a missing sailor after his 35-foot sailing vessel was found dragging anchor on the Merrimack River, Friday.

Missing is Norbert Decker, a white male with long hair who is described to be in his 50s, 5 feet 11 inches tall and 170 pounds.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Boston were notified at 10:50 a.m. Friday by the Cove Marina in Salisbury, Mass., reporting that the sailing vessel was dragging anchor with no one aboard and its dingy was overturned.

Cove Marina personnel also found a dog believed to belong to the sailing vessel’s owner, at approximately 9:30 p.m. Thursday, at the marina.

Coast Guard Station Merrimack River, Mass., crews inspected the sailing vessel and found Decker’s cell phone with no sign of him.

Multiple Coast Guard, state and local agencies searched with no sign of Decker.

Searching were crewmembers from:

  • Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, Mass. (MH-60J rescue helicopter)
  • Coast Guard Station Merrimack River
  • Massachusetts Environmental Police
  • Newburyport Police Department

As America’s maritime responder, the Coast Guard is the search and rescue mission coordinator for overdue boater cases, collaborating with federal, state and local partners. In an average year, the Coast Guard responds to more than 100 overdue cases in the Northeast.


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