Unmanned Sailboat Prompts Extensive Search off Martha’s Vineyard

Unmanned Sailboat Prompts Extensive Search off Martha’s Vineyard

The Coast Guard has identified the owner of an unmanned sailboat found ashore on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, on Friday, August 29.

After an extensive search by federal and local authorities, the owner of the rigged 13’ Hobie Cat called the Coast Guard, claimed the boat, and explained he left it on the beach.

Watchstanders at Sector Southeastern New England received a call at about 10:00 p.m., Friday, from the Dukes County Police Department that the unmarked 13’ Hobie Cat “wave” model was washed ashore with its sail up and the rudder down.

In response, boat crews from Station Woods Hole and Station Menemsha, an aircrew from Air Station Cape Cod, and the Coast Guard Cutters Ridley and Hammerhead all began canvassing the area for possible persons in the water.  Local police also went from house to house in the nearby area in attempt to locate the owner.  At first light, an aircrew aboard an HC-144a Ocean Sentry search aircraft from Air Station Cape Cod and Coast Guard Auxiliary Aircraft conducted searches.

“A case like this illustrates why it’s extremely important for folks to document their vessels and make them easily identifiable,” said Richard Elliott, the command duty officer at Sector Southeastern New England.