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Nov 7, 2008 3:54 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

U.S. Coast Guard calls off search for four fishermen

Nov 7, 2008 3:54 PM

The U.S. Coast Guard on Saturday called off its efforts to locate four fishermen reported missing from a capsized Spanish vessel, after spending nearly three days searching the waters near Bermuda for the men.

Following the end of the search, members of the Air National Guard’s 106th Rescue Wing, who had been called upon by the U.S. Coast Guard to assist with the rescue efforts on Friday, returned to their base located just south of Francis. S. Gabreski Airport in Westhampton.

The four missing fishermen are assumed to be dead, according to Lieutenant Rob Wyman of the U.S. Coast Guard. Seven other fishermen on the boat were rescued following the sinking of their vessel on Friday morning.

The U.S. Coast Guard had begun a search for four missing fishermen early Thursday night, when it received an emergency signal from a 91-foot Spanish fishing boat called the Jose Almuiña, which was located about 1,000 miles east of Bermuda.

At 6 a.m. Friday, U.S. Coast Guard officials called upon the ANG’s 106th Rescue Wing to help them search the waters off Bermuda for the fishermen. The outfit sent one HC-130 Hercules with 19 crew members and two zodiac boats, which are inflatable boats that can be airdropped from the plane to assist survivors in the water. After the search was called off on Saturday at 4 p.m., the HC-130 and the crew members returned to Westhampton.

“The Coast Guard takes in a number of factors when searching,” Lt. Wyman said. “They consider the water temperature, the location of the men.”

Lt. Wyman said the temperature in the waters where the men were thought to be was in the mid-70s. There were 11 sailors on the boat, and seven were rescued.

The seven sailors who were found on Friday were located by two nearby ships. Six of the seven recovered sailors were found with the Navigate Stealth II, which is based in the Marshall Islands, and the other missing sailor was found by the SKS Mosel, which is from Norway.

It is not clear at this time why the Jose Almuiña capsized, according to Lt. Wyman.

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Add another to the 600+ "saves" that the 106th Rescue Wing has accomplished, here in the U.S. and abroad. This is yet another example of the dedication and bravery of the 1000 men and women of the 106th. As a community we need to be aware of the mission they fulfill and their importance to the economy of Eastern Long Island. The unit, based at Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach, was threatened with relocation or closure in an analysis of military budgeting and deployment held in 2005. Our ...more
By Michael Jacobs (14), Westhampton Beach on Nov 9, 08 8:02 AM
1 member liked this comment
Well stated Mr. Jacobs. They are my neighbors and we are all lucky to have the 106th in our community.
God bless and protect them all.
By North of Highway (280), Westhampton Beach on Nov 13, 08 1:23 PM