The Coast Guard has suspended its search for the missing fisherman who went overboard from a vessel south of Nantucket Saturday night.
Petty officer Diolanda Caballero told the Current that as of 7:45 p.m. Sunday night, the search for the man had been called off "pending any further developments. On Tuesday, the Coast Guard identified the missing fisherman as Robert Hoagland, and Caballero stated that it had "been over 24 hours since next of kin has been notified."
Hoagland, a crew member from the fishing vessel Gaston’s Legacy, was reported overboard and missing approximately five miles south of Nantucket by the captain of the boat around 10 p.m. Saturday night, Coast Guard Station Brant Point’s BMCM Lance Wiser told the Current over the weekend.
Coast Guard Station Brant Point launched its 47-foot motor lifeboat shortly thereafter and conducted search operations all night. After returning to the island early Sunday morning, another crew from Station Brant Point launched to head back to the search area.
“We just conducted searches throughout the night and we’ll be out there all day,” Wiser said Sunday morning. “We’ve got some reinforcements on the way to help us out.”
Numerous other Coast Guard assets, including MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft from Air Station Cape Cod, participated in search. Additional Coast Guard cutters from around the region also arrived south of Nantucket to assist with the search operation.
“It’s a decent transit to get south of the island and we were out all night,” Wiser told the Current. “We don’t have any other information other than the captain of the boat noticed his crewman wasn’t on board anymore.”
It's not clear if the missing fisherman was wearing a life jacket or any survival gear when he went overboard. The 88-foot fishing vessel Gaston's Legacy is out of New Bedford.
Nantucket Police and the Nantucket Harbormaster's team - including island lifeguards - also joined the search operation on land Sunday by scouring the south shore from Tom Nevers to Smith's Point looking for any sign of the lost fisherman. At one point early Sunday afternoon, lifeguards on ATVs congregated along the south shore between Nobadeer and Fisherman's beaches after spotting something in the surf. Harbormaster Sheila Lucey arrived on the scene and it was later determined it was marine life and not the missing fisherman.
"We've been searching since first light," Harbormaster Sheila Lucey said Sunday morning. "We're going off what the Coast Guard told us where they think we should be. We started near Nobadeer and just expanded that to go from Tom Nevers out to Smith's Point."
Caballero told the Current that USCG cutters Harriet Lane and Maurice Jester also joined the search south of the island, and were joined by the fishing fleet vessels Captain John and Lady Samira.
As Sunday evening arrived, Coast Guard helicopters were still hovering over areas along the south shore.