BRISTOL, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The search for a missing boat off Pemaquid Point has been suspended, and the Maine Marine Patrol says there was never a boat at all-that the report was, in essence, a hoax.
The report was called in before six o'clock this morning, saying a 23-foot sailboat coming from Boston to midcoast Maine, was in trouble. The Coast Guard says the report was confusing-giving conflicting accounts of what had happened, and how many people were involved. But the caller said the boat was in trouble and at least one person was in the water.
The Coast Guard, Marine Patrol and local fishermen immediately started searching the waters off Pemaquid Point. Two boats, a helicopter and an airplane spent hours criss-crossing the area. Coast Guard Capt. Brian Gilda says they covered an area of 680 nautical miles. Other officers and volunteers searched along the shore...asking residents if they had seen anyone come out of the water. But they found nothing. No debris, no boat and no person. Marine Patrol officers were able to track down the caller, who is a man from Bristol they finally located in Searsport.
As a result of their investigation, the Marine Patrol says it does not believe the caller's story of the missing boat. But the Coast Guard isn't willing to call this a hoax. Capt. Gilda told reporters they have been focused on the search, and will wait for more information before deciding whether the report was true. However, no further air or boat searches are planned at this time. And the Coast Guard says it hasn't received any other reports of a missing boat. The Marine Patrol says it is still investigating. Lt. Rene Cloutier told us the interview with the caller was short, but so far they don't believe the story and want more answers.