Coast Guard suspends search for 2 missing mariners in Pamlico Sound

By on January 13, 2020

U.S. Coast Guard

Pictured is a graphic depicting the approximately 1,350 square miles of combined search patterns conducted by Coast Guard assets in search of two missing mariners, Jan. 9, 2019, in Palimico Sound, North Carolina. The two mariners were reported missing after the commercial fishing vessel Papa’s Girl capsized in the vicinity of the Pamlico Sound. (U.S. Coast Guard graphic)

The Coast Guard suspended its search Thursday afternoon for two mariners who were reported missing after the commercial fishing vessel Papa’s Girl capsized in the vicinity of the Pamlico Sound.

Watchstanders at the Fifth Coast Guard District command center were notified Tuesday night by a distress signal that was sent from the vessel’s emergency position indicating radio beacon.

At the beginning of the search effort, two of the four mariners onboard were rescued, and one was later pronounced dead at Albemarle Hospital.

The Coast Guard and partner agencies searched approximately 1,170 square miles.

Involved in the search were:

  • Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City
  • Coast Guard Station Hatteras Inlet
  • Coast Guard Station Oregon Inlet
  • North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
  • North Carolina Marine Patrol

“The marine environment is a dangerous place to work because of the cold water, rough seas and high winds,” said Rear Adm. Keith Smith, commander of the Fifth Coast Guard District. “At this point, we’ve decided to suspend further search efforts for the two missing mariners, pending further information. Our thoughts are with the families and we are very grateful to the master of the vessel, whose EPIRB saved the life of the survivor.”

Coast Guard rescues survivor from life raft in Pamlico Sound, North Carolina

Chief Petty Officer David Downham, a Coast Guard rescue swimmer at Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, pulls a survivor from a life raft and helps him into a MH-60 Jaywalk’s hoisting basket in the Pamlico River, North Carolina, Jan. 7, 2020. The survivor was one of four people aboard a 42-foot commercial fishing vessel when it capsized earlier that night. (U.S. Coast Guard video courtesy of Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City)


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