Coast Guard searching for possible missing boat after debris field found off NC coast

WILMINGTON, N.C. — The Coast Guard is searching for a possible missing vessel after receiving an alert from an emergency radio beacon and finding debris more than 100 miles off the coast of Wilmington.

Authorities were first alerted around 11 a.m. by an unregistered emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) -- a device that sends out a signal during an emergency.

The Coast Guard immediately launched a plane and helicopter and also diverted a cutter to search the area and found the debris field about 126 miles southeast of Wilmington.

Crews spotted netting, floats and other material, but have no confirmed reports of any missing vessels.

“We take EPIRB notifications very seriously and this combination with debris is an indication of possible distress,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Scott Dempsey. “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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