The crew of a 40-foot sailboat that was supposedly heading south from Down East Maine to warmer climates remained missing Sunday night, and the U.S. Coast Guard says it has no idea where it might be.

A fixed-wing Sentry aircraft based out of Cape Cod searched the waters off the coasts of Maine and much of New England throughout the day on Sunday. But its crew could find no trace of the vessel, named Dove, which set sail – it’s not clear when – from the John Williams Boat Co. in the town of Mount Desert. Sunday’s search covered approximately 2,700 square nautical miles.

This 40-foot sailboat, named Dove, was reported missing early Saturday about 20 miles south of Mount Desert Island. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard

According to the Coast Guard, emergency dispatchers on the mainland received a 911 cellphone call around 3 a.m. Saturday from the crew alerting authorities that they were in distress. The call dropped before dispatchers could finish their conversation.

The Coast Guard identified the three people on board the Dove as Charlotte Kirby, Nathaniel Davis and Wilfredo Lombardo. Kirby’s Facebook page says she lives in Los Angeles. Kirby is Facebook friends with Davis, who says on his Facebook page that he lives in Santa Cruz, California.

“They basically said ‘help’ and ‘we’re on a boat’ before the call cut out,” a Coast Guard spokeswoman, Petty Officer Nicole Groll, said in a telephone interview Sunday night.

Groll said the search for the missing boat ended at dusk Sunday but will resume at first light on Monday. She said the area of the massive search, which began offshore and went all the way down to Nantucket Island, will be pushed toward the mainland on Monday, with aerial searches concentrated on the coastline.


“We’ve basically searched the entire New England coast,” she said. “We are doing everything we can to make sure we don’t miss anything.”

The Coast Guard has been in touch with the crew’s family members and has no reason to suspect that this was hoax call, Groll said.

In October, the Coast Guard investigated a radio distress call in which the male caller, who sounded too relaxed for someone in a crisis, reported that he was on a 14-foot Jon boat with three children that was capsizing. The boat was reported to be 10 nautical miles off the coast of Kennebunkport. The Coast Guard never found any evidence of the Jon boat and did not receive any reports of missing people.

Groll said the sailboat Dove departed from Somes Sound, a large, deep body of water known as a fjard that is located in the lower midsection of Mount Desert Island. Somesville is located on the northern end of the sound and Northeast Harbor on the southeastern side.

Groll said the Coast Guard does not know when the Dove left port, but the last known position of the sailboat was about 20 miles south of Mount Desert Island. The Coast Guard reported that seas were relatively calm early Saturday, with air temperatures of 34 degrees and water temperature at 52 degrees.

Chris Berry, the search and rescue coordinator for the Coast Guard station in South Portland, said the crew of the Dove was reportedly heading south to warmer climates when its crew made the call for help.

Members of the Maine Marine Patrol went to a residence in Mount Desert where at least one of the crew members lived and identified their vehicle. Berry described the three people as friends. He did not know how old they are.

“There was an air search today,” Berry said Sunday night. “But we have nothing new to report.”

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