Coast Guard Suspends Search for 2 Missing Fishermen Off Nantucket Coast

The Coast Guard has suspended a search for two people who disappeared after their fishing boat sank 10 miles off Nantucket's shore, officials announced Tuesday night.

Four people were on board the 69-foot Misty Blue when it went down around 6 p.m. Monday. Two of them were rescued by a passing boat a short time later, but two others, 44-year-old Michael Roberts and 32-year-old Jonathan Saraiva, remain missing.

At 8 p.m. Tuesday, the Coast Guard suspended its search for Roberts and Saraiva, "pending the development of new information," it said in a statement.

An Atlantic Capes Fisheries spokesperson said authorities believe they have found the missing vessel.

The two rescued crewmembers, 44-year-old Capt. Eric Arabian and 22-year-old crewman Colby McMullen, are in fair condition after being brought on board the Enterprise, a nearby fishing boat, which brought them to a Coast Guard ship.

According to Atlantic Capes Fisheries, the Misty Blue is an affiliated surf clam harvesting vessel.

The U.S. Coast Guard said aircraft and boats have been deployed in search of the missing crewmembers. Another fishing vessel, the Mariette, found a life raft belonging to the Misty Blue, but there were no crewmen inside.

"There's always hope" that the missing crewmen will be found, Atlantic Capes Fisheries spokesperson Chad Brayton said.

Tammy Roberts, the wife of missing fisherman Michael Roberts, told NBC Boston that her husband was in the galley putting on a lifesuit when the boat flipped.

"Supposedly they were all suited up, got on the lifeboat and then my husband was in the galley," she said. "He was putting his suit on as well as the other person."

Roberts is now leaning on support from family and friends while she waits for word about her husband.

"I never expected to get this call," Roberts said.

She said her husband has a "heart of gold" and is adored by his granddaughter.

Area fisherman, especially those who work on clam boats, are heartbroken.

"It can happen at any time. Nantucket shoals are dangerous... a lotta tide, lotta rip," said commercial fisherman John V.

The cause of the sinking remains under investigation.

In 2015, the Misty Blue, which is based out of New Bedford, was rescued by the Coast Guard after it was trapped in ice. Roberts was on the boat at the time, according to his wife.

Less than a month before the Misty Blue sank, a fisherman filed a $1.5 million lawsuit alleging he was seriously injured in September due to crew negligence and the vessel's "unseaworthiness." The lawsuit does not detail what had happened to plaintiff Matthew Lyons to leave him with "severe personal injuries, pain of body and anguish of mind."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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