MARTHA’S VINEYARD – The Coast Guard identified the owner of an unmanned sailboat found ashore on Martha’s Vineyard Friday night.
After an extensive search by federal and local authorities, the owner called the Coast Guard Saturday and explained he left it on the beach.
Initially, Watchstanders at Sector Southeastern New England received a call around 10 p.m. from the Dukes County Police Department reporting an unmarked 13-foot Hobie Cat “wave” model sail boat was found ashore with the sail up and the rudder down.
It reportedly had lines hanging and dirty footprints on the deck.
Local police went from door to door in the nearby area in an attempt to find the owner.
Coast Guard boat crews from Station Woods Hole and Station Menemsha, along with an aircrew from Air Station Cape Cod and the Coast Guard Cutters Ridley and Hammerhead canvased the area for possible people in the water.
At sunrise, 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 illustrated why it’s extremely important for folks to document their vessels and make them easily identifiable,” said Richard Elliot, command duty officer at Sector Southeastern New England. “We have multiple crews searching the entire body of water from Naushon Island to Martha’s Vineyard, but we don’t have any additional information about the vessel or its owner.”