A 22-year-old man missing at sea for eight days and given up for lost was found 100 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard on Sunday, conscious and in good condition on a life raft, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
There was no word on Nathan Carman’s mother, Linda Carman, 54, of Middletown, who left Point Judith, R.I., in a 32-foot aluminum boat with her son on Sept. 17.
Nathan Carman, who grew up in Middletown and lives in Vermont, and his mother told friends they were going to Block Island fishing and would return the morning of Sept. 18.
Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Nicole Groll said other Coast Guard officials had not told her what Carman had said about where his mother might be, or whether she was alive or dead.
“She was not in the raft,” Groll said. “The whole situation is under investigation.”
Groll said a freighter spotted Carman’s raft and took him on board. He is expected to arrive in port on Tuesday, but Groll said she didn’t know what city the freighter is headed for.
The search for the two began Sept. 18 and by Tuesday had expanded to an 11,000-square-mile area of the ocean, “roughly twice the size of Connecticut,” the Coast Guard said.
Search vessels from Cape Cod, Maine, New York and North Carolina were involved.
Sharon Hartstein, Linda Carman’s close friend, said Nathan Carman moved to Vermont in recent years and met up with his mother regularly to go fishing off the coast.
“Linda and Nathan go out at least monthly,” she said. “They like to fish.”
Hartstein said the two usually leave the marina late at night or early in the morning — sometimes 2 or 3 a.m. — to fish.
Hartstein said Carman’s sisters were communicating regularly with the Coast Guard, and Hartstein has also been in touch with Clark Carman, Nathan’s father and Linda’s ex-husband, who lives in California.
Nathan Carman in 2011 was the subject of a multistate search when he unexpectedly left town at 17 years old and turned up four days later in Virginia.