Thursday, 4:30 PM
Newburyport fishing boat missing off Maine
(Coast Guard photo)
Lady Luck disappeared overnight 12 miles off the coast of Maine, just south of Portland.
By Andrew Ryan and Kay Lazar, Globe Staff
A Newburyport-based fishing boat with two crew members aboard went missing overnight 12 miles out at sea, prompting a massive search with aircraft and three Coast Guard cutters less than a week after four fishermen were presumed dead when their boat sank off New Bedford.
A jet, a helicopter, and other fishing boats are searching a swath of ocean off Cape Elizabeth in Maine for Lady Luck, a 52-foot vessel that issued a distress call today at 2 a.m. The boat had been heading to Gloucester and disappeared off Cape Elizabeth, which is just south of Portland.
The Coast Guard identified the missing crew members this afternoon as Dan Miller, 21, of North Hampton, N.H., and Sean Cone, 24, of Newburyport, who was listed as the vessel master.
Investigators found an oil slick and debris floating near the location where it received the distress call. It could not be determined if the wreckage belonged to the Lady Luck.
The distress signal came from the boat's emergency radio beacon, a device designed to transmit a signal when it sinks beneath nine feet of water. The beacon can also be manually activated by the crew.
"We really don't know at this point what happened," said Petty Officer Etta Smith, a Coast Guard spokeswoman.
At about 5 a.m., the crew on the Falcon jet, which flew from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, dropped a life raft near the emergency beacon and directed another boat, Blue Water II, to the area. Neither the boat nor the plane were able to find the crew.
An HH-65 Dolphin helicopter and a P3 airplane from the Naval Air Station in Brunswick, Maine, have also joined the search, in addition to several fishing boats and the Coast Guard cutters Seneca and Flyingfish from Boston and Marcus Hanna from South Portland.
The Coast Guard did not release the names of the missing crew members or identify the owner of the Lady Luck.