Coast Guard finds capsized boat, not operator
The Coast Guard was searching Thursday for the operator of a capsized catamaran that was found 23 miles southeast of the Cape Fear River Wednesday morning.
The crew of the charter boat Pomolas called Station Oak Island watchstanders at 8:54 a.m. Wednesday, saying they had found a capsized 18-foot white Hobie Cat catamaran with a multicolored sail. They did not see any debris, markings, or marine growth, authorities said.
An MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter crew and an HC-130J Hercules airplane crew from Air Station Elizabeth City; the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Beluga, an 87-foot patrol boat; and a 41-foot rescue boat crew from Station Oak Island searched the area for signs of the catamaran's operator.
When the boat crew from the station arrived on scene and righted the capsized vessel, they discovered a cooler and a half-eaten sandwich inside, authorities said. Identifying markings on the catamaran include a large number 16 on one of the pontoons and the number 65474 on the multicolored sail, they said.
Watchstanders are contacting marinas and boat rental agencies in North and South Carolina to determine the identity of the vessel and its operator, authorities said.
Anyone with information about the catamaran or its operator is asked to call the Coast Guard 5th District command center at 757-398-6390.