Coast Guard suspends search after radio beacon alert, debris found off NC coast

North Carolina

Debris found by aircrews from Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina approximately 126 miles southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina Feb. 11, 2020. Crews began searching the area after an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) alert was received by the District Five command center in Portsmouth, Virginia.
(U.S. Coast Guard photo by Air Station Elizabeth City)

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) — The Coast Guard suspended its search on Thursday after an unregistered emergency position indicating radio beacon alert lead responders to debris approximately 126 miles southeast off the coast of Wilmington.
 
Coast Guard crews from Air Station Elizabeth City, the Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton and Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System vessels searched approximately 2663 square miles since Tuesday afternoon.

There were no additional signs of distress reported or vessels known to be overdue in the area.
 
“We would like to thank our maritime partners in AMVER who agreed to assist in this case,” said Lt. j.g. Victoria Moon, watchstander during the case “We ask that owners of EPIRB’s ensure they register their devices. It allows us to quickly reach the owners in emergency situations and expedites search and rescue. If anyone believes they have information that can assist this case, please call the District Five command center at 757-398-6231.”

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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) — The Coast Guard is searching for a possible missing vessel after being alerted by an unregistered emergency position indicating radio beacon and finding debris approximately 126 miles southeast of Wilmington Tuesday morning.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard District Five command center in Portsmouth, Virginia, received the distress alert around 11 a.m.

Watchstanders issued an enhanced group calling alert, launched aircrews aboard an HC-130 Hercules airplane and a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Elizabeth City and diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton to search the area. Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System vessels agreed to search the area as well.

Once on the scene, aircrews spotted netting, floats, and other debris in the area.

There have been no confirmed reports of missing vessels.

“We take EPIRB notifications very seriously and this combination with debris is an indication of possible distress,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Scott Dempsey, watchstander during the case. “Anyone in the boating or fishing community who has information that can assist the search may call the District Five command center at 757-398-6231.”

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