Coast Guard in search mission underway after an EPIRB alert and debris found off Wilmington, North Carolina

Coast Guard search underway after radio beacon alert and debris found off Wilmington, North Carolina.
Archive image: A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, conducts a search and rescue demonstration.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Corinne Zilnicki.

WILMINGTON, N.C. — The Coast Guard is search 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 at approximately 11 a.m.

Coast Guard in search mission underway after an EPIRB alert and debris found off Wilmington, 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 Petty Officer 3rd Class Ronald Hodges.

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 scene, Coast Guard 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.”

Coast Guard in search mission underway after an EPIRB alert and debris found off Wilmington, 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.

-USCG-

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