GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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December 22, 2012

Coast Guard suspends search, Marine Board begins investigation

Vigil for lost scallopers planned for Sunday at Fishermen's Memorial

GLOUCESTER — While the U.S. Coast Guard has suspended its search for a vessel that went missing earlier this week, the Guard’s Marine Board of Investigations will now be conducting an investigation in an effort to find out what happened to that vessel, the Foxy Lady II and its crew.

The primary focus of the Coast Guard efforts had been searching for any of the crew members before hypothermia may have set in, in addition to other safety concerns. The Foxy Lady II, manned by Capt. Wally Gray Jr., 26 and Wayne Young, 50, both of Deer Isle, Maine, are presumed lost at sea and the search was suspended Wednesday around 5 p.m.

The vessel had set out for a day trip on Saturday, Dec. 15; it was first reported missing by the captain’s girlfriend on Monday, Dec. 17.

The board will review all of the Coast Guard information in more detail, according to Chief Petty Officer Jeff Hall.

A rescue pod identified as being from the Foxy Lady II, was found in a Saugus marsh on Tuesday around 5 p.m. Hall confirmed it was from the same vessel and said a typical rescue pod may include supplies such as water, flares, food and other emergency items. The pod that was recovered, however, did not appear to have ever been opened, and there was no sign of anybody inside, he said.

No other verified items from the Foxy Lady II have been recovered. On the same night the rescue pod washed ashore in Saugus, there were also reports that nets and other fishing gear had been found in Hull. But none of that equipment has been linked to the missing scallop boat.

Hall said an investigation is very thorough and could take months.

The board plans to investigate all the data gathered by the Coast Guard, further interviews with friends and family members, boat inspection records, weather patterns and all other marine traffic in the area when the vessel was first reported missing.

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