Coast Guard search underway off Wilmington, NC

By on February 11, 2020

Debris found by aircrews from Air Station Elizabeth City. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ronald Hodges)

(U.S. Coast Guard)

The Coast Guard reports that it is searching for a possible missing vessel after being alerted by an unregistered emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) and after finding debris approximately 126 miles southeast of Wilmington, NC on the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 11.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard District Five command center in Portsmouth, Virginia received the distress alert at approximately 11 a.m. They issued an enhanced group calling alert, launched aircrews aboard an HC-130 Hercules airplane and a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Elizabeth City and diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton to search the area. Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System vessels agreed to search the area as well.

Once on scene, aircrews spotted netting, floats and other debris in the area. There have been no confirmed reports of missing vessels.

“We take EPIRB notifications very seriously, and this combination with debris is an indication of possible distress,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Scott Dempsey, watchstander during the case. “Anyone in the boating or fishing community who has information that can assist the search may call the District Five command center at 757-398-6231.”


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