Connecticut boater found safe, Mother Still Missing at Sea

Nathan Carman (L) was found alive after being lost at sea for a week on Sept. 25. His mother, Linda Carman is still missing. (Facebook)

A 22-year-old Connecticut boater who had been lost at sea for a week has been found alive, as the U.S. Coast Guards announced they would discontinue the search for his mother.

Nathan Carman, 22, was found by a Chinese freighter on a four-person inflatable life raft on Sept. 25, nearly 100 nautical miles west of Martha’s Vineyard, reported WTNH Connecticut News.  A life jacket-wearing Carman was found with food and water and is reported to be in good condition.

The freighter will transport Nathan to Boston on Tuesday night.

His mother, Linda Carman, 54, is still missing.

Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Nicole Groll said search efforts in locating Linda will not continue because the possibility of her being alive is minimal, given the amount of time that has passed, water conditions, food availability, and that there was no second life raft on the boat.

“A decision to suspend a case is never easy,” Groll said. “However, we are not going to reopen the search for Linda Carman.”

The mother-son duo left Port Judith, Rhode Island, in a 32-foot aluminum boat named Chicken Pox on Sept. 17 for a fishing trip on Block Canyon and never returned. The pair was scheduled to return on the morning of Sept. 18. According to Groll, Nathan Carman had told coast guard officials that the boat began taking in water and eventually sank in the vicinity of Block Canyon, off the coast of New York.

The Coast Guards searched over 62,000 square miles, including the vicinity of Block Canyon after debris was found by fishermen, reported the Providence Journal. Search efforts were suspended by day six.

Sharon Hartstein, Linda Carman’s close friend, said the news of Nathan’s rescue is bittersweet.

“We are hopeful. The family is hopeful,” said Hartstein. “I was thrilled that they found him and then I was devastated that Linda wasn’t with him.”

Hartstein said the Carmans are avid fishers and are always well-prepared for their expedition on the sea.

“She wouldn’t put her son in danger. She’s the momma bird. She would protect him at all costs,” Hartstein said.

Hartstein told the Hartford Courant that the family is planning to offer a reward for information about Linda and the boat.

Groll said the incident is still under investigation and anyone with information about Linda Carman or their missing boat is asked to call the Coast Guard at (617) 223-8555.

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