Crewman missing after falling off ship near Cape Hatteras

The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:

(PORTSMOUTH, Va.) — The Coast Guard is searching for a man Wednesday who reportedly fell overboard from a merchant vessel approximately 50 miles east of Cape Hatteras, N.C.

The master of the 478-foot merchant vessel Ice River contacted Coast Guard watchstander's via satellite phone at approximately 10:30 a.m. stating that a 33-year old male crewmember was missing from the ship.

Coast Guard watchstanders at Sector North Carolina diverted a crew aboard an HC-130 Hercules from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., which was conducting training in the vicinity, to commence a search.

A second Hercules crew took off from the air station at approximately 1:30 p.m. to join the search.

A Navy E-2 Hawkeye crew from Squadron VAW 124 was also diverted to help in the search.

"Coast Guard and Navy aircraft are conducting a joint search to locate the missing person," said Lt. Cmdr. James Weaver, the chief of Incident Response at Sector North Carolina.  "It is our hope that our combined efforts and resources will bring the missing person home safely."

The Ice River's crew is also assisting in the search.

By Professional Mariner Staff