Family still searching for missing 80-year-old sailor

Search suspended for missing boater

CAPE ELIZABETH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — The family of Richard Pratt is still hoping to find the 80-year-old missing sailor, releasing pictures of him on Sunday, August 6.

The US Coast Guard had suspended its search for the missing 80-year sailor from Massachusetts on Friday, August 4.

Pratt's sailboat ran aground off the coast of Cape Elizabeth last Thursday evening. Pratt was nowhere to be found.

The 33-foot unmanned sailboat, the Tarrier, was found aground on Richmond Island with both of its sails up and the skiff still attached. The cabin door was open and did not appear to be damaged but raised enough concern to launch a search by the Coast Guard and several other agencies.

Crews searched for the missing sailor in the waters off the coast of Cape Elizabeth to just east of York Harbor after finding a log book onboard. Despite a 17-hour search, crews did not find any clues about the missing sailor's whereabouts.

Katie Gniadek was paddle boarding near Richmond Island Thursday afternoon when she spotted the sailboat adrift in the water with a strong easterly current pulling it towards the island.

"I could see that the sails were up but nobody was out there," said Gniadek.

The search covered more than 300 nautical miles before it was suspended Friday afternoon. Coast Guard officials say any new information about Pratt or the sailboat means the search could be resumed in Cape Elizabeth.

Pratt's family contacted NEWS CENTER, saying Pratt was one of eight children and loved to sail. He began sailing when he was very young and would sail Maine waters every summer. 

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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