UPDATE 2: Coast Guard suspends search for missing fisherman off Alabama coast
NEW ORLEANS – The Coast Guard suspended its search for Benjamin Sorrells, crewman from the fishing vessel AC III, Saturday.
Sorrells, 35, was reportedly leaning over the side when he slipped overboard. The AC III crew attempted multiple rescues of Sorrells. He was not wearing a life jacket at the time.
Watchstanders with Coast Guard Sector Mobile, Ala., received the initial notification Thursday at 6:20 p.m., and they directed the launch of a Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile, HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircrew and diverted a MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from training to assist in the search.
Multiple aircrews from ATC Mobile and Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans, alongside the crews of the Coast Guard Cutter Stingray, AC III, and the good Samaritan vessels Randy J and Bobcat conducted searches.
In total, rescue crews searched for 34 hours and covered more than 1,980 square miles.
"We offer our deepest condolences to the friends and family of Mr. Sorrells," said Cmdr. Eric King, chief of response, Sector Mobile. "The Coast Guard would like to remind all boaters, whether recreational or commercial, the importance of wearing your life jacket."
The search is suspended pending further developments.