The U.S. Coast Guard said Saturday morning on Twitter that rescuers were searching for Charlotte Kirby, Nathaniel Davis and Wilfredo Lombardo, who were aboard the 40-foot sailboat named Dove. The boat was last known to be about 20 miles south of Mount Desert Island, where the famed Acadia National Park and seaside hamlet town of Bar Harbor are located.
The Coast Guard said that dispatchers on the mainland received a 911 call at about 3 a.m. from passengers on the boat that warned they were in distress.
“They basically said ‘help’ and ‘we’re on a boat’ before the call cut out,” Coast Guard spokeswoman Petty Officer Nicole Groll told the Portland Press Herald.
After the call was placed, the Coast Guard said that rescue crews from the from Station Southwest Harbor, Air Station Cape Cod, and the Canadian Coast Guard responded to the area to assist. By Sunday, rescue aircrews had searched 2,700 square nautical miles for the boat with an HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane from Air Station Cape Cod.
“We’ve basically searched the entire New England coast,” Groll told the Portland Press Herald. “We are doing everything we can to make sure we don’t miss anything.”
The sailboat’s home port is John Williams Boat Company on Mount Desert Island, and the ship departed from the Somes Sound before the distress call was made.
On Saturday, the area where rescuers were searching saw five-foot seas with 20-knot winds, according to the Coast Guard. The air temperature hovered around 34 degrees, with a water temperature of 52 degrees.
The National Weather Service posted a gale warning for late Sunday in the region, with projected wind gusts of up to 45 mph, WGME reported.
The Coast Guard said late Sunday that aircrews will begin searching coastal warnings on Monday at first light, barring any weather.