Missing lobsterboat found 135 miles offshoreVessel found afloat, in "good shape"
Spruce Head vessel XTreme Measures — unmanned and adrift since Feb. 10 — was found 135 miles southeast of Portsmouth, N.H. the evening of Feb. 19, confirmed South Portland Coast Guard Lt. Nick Barrow.
A 76-foot offshore lobster vessel, Amy Philbrick, hailing from Portsmouth, encountered Jason Hooper's boat while fishing off Georges Bank and contacted the Coast Guard.
The boat was found afloat and in "good shape," Barrow said.
The lobsterboat is being towed to Portsmouth by the larger fishing vessel.
Hooper said he is excited and anxious for his boat's return.
"I'm very happy and very appreciative of the crew for taking the time and effort to bring her back," he said.
Waiting for word of the boat has been arduous — false rumors of a sighting earlier last week and an unsuccessful plane charter searching as far as Cape Ann, Mass. dampened confidence for a safe return.
"I wish the boat could talk," Hooper said, " or had a camera on it to see what its been though."
Hooper said preferably, the disappearance would not have happened, but added he felt lucky with the outpouring community support.
Barrow said it was helpful Hooper notified the Coast Guard of the boat's disappearance because a report of an unmanned vessel adrift would have normally launched a massive search for an overboard individual.
Courier Publications reporter Juliette Laaka can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 118 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.