Unmanned Dinghy Sparks Search on Block Island


The Coast Guard launched a search on Monday, July 4, for a possible person in the water in Great Salt Pond on Block Island, Rhode Island.

At about 1:00 a.m., Monday, watchstanders at the Sector Southeastern New England command center received a report of an unmanned dinghy making in circles in Great Salt Pond.

The Block Island Harbormaster and a local commercial assistance provider brought the dinghy under control, confirmed no one was aboard, and began searching the area.

Sector Southeastern New England launched a 45’ Response Boat crew from Station Block Island and a MH-60 Jayhawk aircrew from Air Station Cape Cod. A marine unit from New Shoreham Police also joined the search.

Meanwhile, operation specialists at Sector Southeastern New England identified and made contact with dinghy’s owner, who stated he and his family were safe and accounted for. The owner said he last checked the dinghy Sunday afternoon, when it was moored at the pier next to The Oar restaurant on the south side of Great Salt Pond.

Anyone with information about who may have been operating the dinghy is urged to contact Sector Southeastern New England at 508-457-3211.