By WECT Staff | February 11, 2020 at 4:45 PM EST – Updated February 11 at 4:54 PM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – The Coast Guard is searching for a possible missing vessel after receiving an alert from an unregistered emergency radio beacon and finding debris approximately 126 miles off the coast of Wilmington.
Officials at the Coast Guard’s District Five command center in Portsmouth, Va. received the distress alert around 11 a.m. Tuesday.
“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,” Coast Guard officials stated in a news release.
Once at the scene, aircrews spotted netting, floats, and other debris in the area.
There have been no confirmed reports of missing vessels, Coast Guard officials say.
“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.”
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