Spruce Head lobsterboat still missing
Spruce Head — A 42-foot custom built Mussel Ridge vessel with a replacement value of $350,000 has been missing since Feb. 10.
Owner Jason Hooper — who started working on the water at age 12 — said his boat, XTreme Measures, came loose from its mooring in Spruce Head Harbor and drifted in the weather.
A rumor circulated last week that the boat was located on Cashes Ledge, an underwater mountain range about 80 miles offshore — which is fiction.
Many people have called to congratulate Hooper to realize the word is — thus far — false.
"I don't believe it's true", he said, adding it is unlikely because he has not been contacted by the Coast Guard.
Hooper said he hired a plane Feb. 14 and traveled to Cape Ann, Mass., without a sighting of the vessel.
Chris Berry, search and rescue coordinator with the Coast Guard said he is aware of the missing Spruce Head vessel, but said no drifting boat near Cashes Ledge has been reported.
During the storm, winds came from the north, but with fronts causing changes in wind direction during the week, it is difficult to predict where the boat may be, he said.
The EPIRB — emergency position indicating radio beacon — a device that is activated and sends out location coordinates when a boat sinks — has not emitted a signal, which is good news, said Hooper.
Although he has insurance, Hooper said he just wants his boat back.
"He loves that boat — it's a good boat, " said his fiance Molly Gray.
The vessel sports a white hull with green rails and roof. Penobscot Island Air and multiple fishermen have been searching for the boat, to no avail. Hooper said since the EPIRB has not been activated, and the vessel hasn't been located washed ashore, it's presumably drifting in the Atlantic.
Hooper urges people to "keep an eye out" and call the Coast Guard if anything is found.
Gray said community support has been strong.
Courier Publications reporter Juliette Laaka can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 118 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.