Update: Search Continues Tuesday for Missing Commercial Fisherman Off Montauk

A Coast Guard Station Montauk crew, similar to the one seen here in July of 2013, is assisting in the search for a crewmember who went missing from the Miss Shauna on Monday. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Erik Swanson

Update, July 4, 2 p.m.: The search continues Tuesday afternoon for a missing fisherman believed to have fallen overboard from the Miss Shauna about 25 to 30 miles south of Montauk on Monday afternoon. The Coast Guard said in an update midday on Tuesday that more than 4,000 square miles have been searched. The Coast Guard has received assistance from 10 fishing vessels. 

Among the Coast Guard assets involved in the search are 47-foot motor lifeboats from Coast Guard Station Montauk and Station Shinnecock, an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and an HC-144 Ocean Sentry plane from Air Station Cape Cod,  an HC-130 Hercules plane from Air Station Elizabeth City in North Carolina, and the Coast Guard cutters Shrike and Juniper from New Jersey and Rhode Island. 

Updated, July 4, 9:36 a.m.: On Tuesday morning, 17 hours after a missing fisherman was last seen aboard the Miss Shauna, a rescue mission continues in the Atlantic Ocean, Coast Guard officials said. 

"Still out there searching, from the air and from the sea," Petty Officer Steve Strohmaier, a spokesman for the Coast Guard, said just after 9 a.m.

The last time he was given an update, eight commercial fishing vessels from the area were assisting the Coast Guard in the search for the 55-year-old crewmember of the Miss Shauna, who was reported missing Monday at about 4:30 p.m. He did not report for watch on the 51-foot boat, could not be found on board, and was presumed overboard. He was last seen Monday at 4 p.m. The boat was about 30 miles south of Montauk.

The "fisher-rescue coordinators" widened the search area overnight — though the Coast Guard has not said how big an area is involved. "The search box gets a little bit larger as the time goes on, usually larger in one direction because of the direction of the current," Officer Strohmaier said.

Asked how long the Coast Guard will keep up the search or when a determination is made to switch from a search and rescue mission to a recovery effort, the officer said it is up to the rescue coordinators, "once we've used all the assets and exhausted all our resources . . .  as of right now we will continue." 

John Aldridge, a Montauk lobsterman, fell overboard in July of 2013 while 40 miles offshore, and was found alive after 12 hours at sea. Wearing no life vest, he used his boots to keep him afloat. He and the boat captain, Anthony Sosinski, penned a book, "A Speck in the Sea," which has also inspired a movie.

Updated, July 3, 10:20 p.m.: The search for a missing fisherman "presumed to be overboard" is still under way Monday night, a spokesman for the Coast Guard said. 

Petty Officer Steve Strohmaier said at about 10 p.m. that an additional air unit was brought in to search for the 55-year-old crewmember who went missing from the Miss Shauna, a 51-foot commercial fishing vessel, which he confirmed is based out of New Bedford, Mass. The Miss Shauna was 30 miles south of Montauk when the man failed to report for watch duty and could not be found on the boat.

He was last seen aboard the boat at 4 p.m. and was reported missing a half-hour later. The Coast Guard has not released the crewmember's name yet.

As of about 9 p.m., seven fishing vessels from the surrounding area, including Montauk, were assisting the Coast Guard in the search from the water, along with the aerial search, the officer said. 

"They will continue the search into the night," he said. 

The officer did not know the approximate radius involved in the search, but said it was somewhat confined based on the time between when the man went missing and the time he was last seen. He said it will be expanded as time goes on.

Originally, July 3, 6:36 p.m.: A search was underway Monday evening for a fisherman who went missing from a fishing vessel 30 miles south of Montauk. 

The Coast Guard said the man was a 55-year old crewmember of the Miss Shauna, but it did not immediately identify him or say where he was from. A Coast Guard spokesman said officers were notifying his family. 

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound were notified by VHF radio at about 4:30 p.m. from the Miss Shauna that the crewmember had not reported for his watch and could not be located aboard the boat. The fisherman was last seen at 4 p.m. on Monday.

The Miss Shauna is a 51-foot commercial fishing vessel, believed to be out of New Bedford, Mass., but the Coast Guard could not immediately confirm the boat's home port. 

Sector watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and launched several Coast Guard assets, including a crew from Coast Guard Station Montauk and Coast Guard Station Shinnecock. A crew from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod was performing an aerial search. 

The incident was reminiscent of the search for John Aldridge, who fell off the Anna Mary, a 44-foot lobster boat out of Montauk, in July of 2013. Mr. Aldridge was found alive after an extensive search and 12 hours in the water.

The Coast Guard is developing search patterns, according to Petty Officer Steve Strohmaier. Since the time between when the crewmemeber was last seen and when he was noticed missing is only a half-hour, the search area can be narrowed down, the officer said.  

The fishing fleet from Montauk is assisting in the search, Officer Stohmaier said. With only a few more hours of daylight, the search would continue into the night if necessary, he said.

Check back for more information as it becomes available.