U.S and Canadian forces searching for crewmembers of sunken Maine fishing boat

LUBEC, Maine —The Coast Guard is searching for an overdue fishing vessel that was last seen fishing in the areas of Cobscook and Straight Bay, Maine, at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 20, 2009. The initial notification of potential trouble was made by a concerned party through 911 at around 10 p.m..

The fishing vessel, Bottom Basher, had three people aboard and was last seen by the Maine Marine Patrol at 1 p.m., Tuesday.

The Coast Guard launched a search for the missing vessel using two search and rescue boats from Station Eastport and also issued an urgent marine information broadcast. The Coast Guard additionally employed an HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter which arrived on scene at 11:45 p.m and searched throughout the night. Thus far, debris including portions of the hull marked with the vessel’s state registration number, along with lifejackets marked with the vessel’s name were found. A deceased victim was also located in the search area and transported to Station Eastport.

The Coast Guard teamed with the Maine Marine Patrol who activated two search vessels, as well as the State Police who utilized their expertise and skill in the search from shore. Due to the proximity to the Canadian border, the Rescue Coordination Center in Halifax, Nova Scotia, has also been engaged and has coordinated Royal Canadian Mounted Police and a Canadian Defense Force helicopter to aid in the search.

“We are continuing to leverage resources from both sides of the border to search for the missing crewmembers.” said Captain James McPherson, who commands Sector Northern New England. “Our thoughts are with the families of the crew of the Bottom Basher as they cope with this traumatic event. We plan to continue the search and are doing everything we can to find their loved ones” added McPherson.

The  Coast Guard Cutter Thunder Bay, a 140′ vessel, will search throughout Wednesday night. “The local interagency support has been outstanding during this challenging search. We greatly appreciate the actions of our first response partners for their rapid and unified efforts, McPherson concluded.”

In addition to the search effort, the Coast Guard will also conduct an investigation into what caused the vessel to apparently sink.

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