U.S. Coast Guard Calls Off Search for 18-Year-Old Lobsterman

Tylar Michaud
Tylar Michaud (Gouldsboro Fire & Rescue)

Published Jul 23, 2023 8:29 PM by The Maritime Executive

The U.S. Coast Guard has called off the search for a young fisherman who went missing Friday off Mt. Desert Island, Maine. 

The Coast Guard received a report of an overdue lobster boat on Friday evening. Shortly after, a fisherman found the boat at a position near Petit Manan Bar, about 12 nm to the east of Bar Harbor. There was no one on board. 

The boat's operator was an 18-year-old fisherman, Tylar Michaud, and his family told the Coast Guard that he had been working his lobster traps in the area where the boat was found. Cell phone data confirmed that he had been in the vicinity that morning. 

The U.S. Coast Guard launched a search, assisted by the state's coastal law enforcement agency, the Maine Marine Patrol. They were joined by search aircraft from the state forest service, good samaritan pilots, the Maine National Guard, and USCG Air Station Cape Cod. More than two dozen local fishermen also aided the effort.  

Except for several pauses during periods of dense fog, the joint team carried out a thorough search of the area for 40 hours. At 0900 on Sunday, the U.S. Coast Guard called off the effort pending further information. 

“The decision to suspend a search and rescue case is one of the most difficult decisions I must make. Our thoughts remain with Tylar’s family, friends, and loved ones,” said Commander Megan Drewniak, the Coast Guard deputy sector commander. 

The state agencies - Maine Marine Patrol, national guard and forest service - plan to continue searching in the area where the boat was found.

Michaud had just graduated from Sumner Memorial High School, and his principal described him as "not only an exceptional student but also a compassionate, kind-hearted individual who always went above and beyond to lend a helping hand to others."