August 19, 2019

Oil slick reported on water unrelated to missing boat

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — An oil slick on the surface of the water between Schoodic Point and Mount Desert Rock has been determined to be unrelated to the missing fishing boat, Joshua’s Delight, a Coast Guard spokesman confirmed Friday evening.

A 41-foot Coast Guard cutter conducted a five-hour search of the area Friday, after receiving the report that an oil slick had been spotted by a commercial fisherman Friday morning.

A search of that area for the boat and its skipper, Raymond Hodgkins, had been suspended at sunset Thursday, after a three-day search by the Coast Guard. The search, which was resumed Friday because of the report of oil, now has been discontinued.

Several fishermen continue to search the area as they have since Hodgkins’ disappearance.

The Coast Guard search found quite a bit of oil in several patches on the surface of water between Schoodic Point and Mount Desert Rock. The oil was not bubbling from the bottom, as it would if a boat were submerged. The Coast Guard is assuming that a fishing boat pumped its bilge in that area.

Hodgkins, a Bar Harbor resident, was reported missing when he did not return from a fishing trip Monday evening. An uninflated life raft, identified as belonging to Hodgkins, was found southeast of Schoodic Point on Tuesday.

A Class A Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, EPIRB, Hodgkins had on board his boat apparently did not activate because no emergency signals were received in the area on Monday.

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