One missing as boat capsizes off Merrimack River’s mouth – Boston Herald

One man was missing at sea last night near the mouth of the Merrimack River after his boat capsized, while his companion was plucked safely from the water by rescue crews.

Boat crews from the U.S. Coast Guard as well as local fire departments and harbormasters braved 10-foot seas and 25-knot winds to search for the men after their boat flipped yesterday afternoon, officials said.

The 19-foot boat dumped its two occupants in the water about 5:40 p.m., officials said. A Coast Guard helicopter continued to search for the missing man into the night, Coast Guard officials said.

By 11 p.m., Salisbury fire Capt. Andrew Murphy said his crews had suspended their search operation, but others would continue into the night.

“My understanding is the Coast Guard still has a presence in the water,” he said.

A Coast Guard helicopter went to refuel at Pease Air National Guard Base and was expected to return.

Murphy said the man rescued from the jetty was taken to Anna Jacques Hospital in Newburyport for treatment.

­Newburyport Harbor­master Paul Hogg said earlier, “We searched as much as we could until dark. We’re still looking for that second individual. You can only do so much in this weather.”

Hogg said seas of 8 to 10 feet with occasional 12-foot waves were a challenge for the rescue crews in the boats.

“We went airborne a couple of times,” he said.

The swamped boat, meanwhile, washed up on a jetty near the scene at the mouth of the river where the other man was pulled to safety, officials said.

In addition to the Coast Guard, rescuers from Newburyport and Salisbury fire departments as well as the harbormasters in those towns helped in the search. The Coast Guard said it sent a 47-foot motor lifeboat, as well as an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter, from Air Station Cape Cod.