USCG Suspends Search for Two Missing Fishermen in Pamlico Sound

Published Jan 9, 2020 7:06 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Thursday afternoon, the U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search for two fishermen who were reported missing after the commercial shrimp trawler Papa’s Girl capsized near the Pamlico Sound, North Carolina.

“The marine environment is a dangerous place to work because of the cold water, rough seas and high winds,” said Rear Adm. Keith Smith, commander of the Fifth Coast Guard District. “At this point, we’ve decided to suspend further search efforts for the two missing mariners, pending further information. Our thoughts are with the families and we are very grateful to the master of the vessel, whose EPIRB saved the life of the survivor.” 

On Tuesday night, watchstanders at the Coast Guard’s Fifth District command center received a distress signal from an EPIRB registered to the shrimp trawler Papa’s Girl. A motor lifeboat crew from Coast Guard Station Hatteras Inlet and a helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City were launched to respond.

Once on scene, the aircrew located two of the four crewmembers and transferred them to Sentara Albemarle Hospital in Elizabeth City for medical care. Both mariners rescued were hypothermic condition; one required CPR and was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Local media have identified the victim as the vessel's master, Floyd "FG" Gibbs. The survivor has been identified as Benjamin Poe and the two missing men as Sammy Douglas and Keyron Davis.

Coast Guard assets covered an area of more than 1,300 square miles in searching for the two missing men.