Res­cued boater spent week adrift; mom feared dead

Baltimore Sun - - NATION - By Denise Lavoie and Jen­nifer McDer­mott

BOS­TON — A Ver­mont man whose boat sank spent seven days adrift on an in­flat­able life raft be­fore he was res­cued off the coast of Mas­sachusetts by a pass­ing freighter, but his still-miss­ing mother was pre­sumed dead, the Coast Guard said Mon­day.

The Coast Guard had sus­pended its search Fri­day for Linda Car­man, 54, and her 22-year-old son, Nathan Car­man. They dis­ap­peared Sept. 18 af­ter leav­ing a Rhode Is­land ma­rina to go on a fish­ing trip in Nathan Car­man’s 31-foot alu­minum boat.

Nathan Car­man was found Sun­day by a freighter about 100 nau­ti­cal miles south of Martha’s Vine­yard, the Coast Guard said. He was listed in good con­di­tion.

Aboard the freighter, he spoke by phone to a Coast Guard com­mand cen­ter in Bos­ton. Petty Of­fi­cer 3rd Class Ni­cole Groll, a Coast Guard spokes­woman, said Nathan Car­man told the Coast Guard that when the boat started to sink it went down quickly.

“He looked for his mother and did not see her. He had some food and wa­ter, and he jumped into the life raft, and that was it,” Groll said.

Groll said the Coast Guard did not re­ceive a dis­tress call when the boat be­gan tak­ing on wa­ter. She said it is un­clear whether the boat was equipped with a ra­dio.

The freighter was ex­pected to ar­rive in Bos­ton on Tues­day morn­ing.

“When Nathan comes into port, he’ll be met by Coast Guard of­fi­cials, and they’ll get a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of what hap­pened in this par­tic­u­lar case and howto bet­ter pre­vent some­thing like this from hap­pen­ing in the fu­ture,” Groll said.

Sharon Hart­stein, a friend of Linda Car­man’s, said she had a wide range of emo­tions when she heard Sun­day that Nathan had been found alive.

“I was ec­static, and then I found out Linda wasn’t with him, and I was ter­ri­fied,” Hart­stein said Mon­day.

The Coast Guard said it has no plans to re­open the search for Linda Car­man, of Mid­dle­town, Conn. Groll said Mon­day that so much time has gone by that it is now “beyond the sur­viv­abil­ity win­dow” to con­tinue search­ing for her.

Nathan Car­man grew up in Con­necti­cut but has lived in Ver­non, Vt., in re­cent years. He was also the sub­ject of a search in 2011, when he was a 17-year-old liv­ing with his mother in Con­necti­cut. He was found in Sus­sex County, Va. Po­lice said he took a bus to Vir­ginia and bought a scooter he had planned to ride to Florida. He has Asperger’s syn­drome, ac­cord­ing to author­i­ties who searched for him in 2011.

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