Tylar Michaud, 18, graduated from Sumner Memorial High School and planned to study engineering at Maine Maritime Academy. Photo courtesy Ron Michaud

As Tylar Michaud headed home to Steuben from lobster fishing on Thursday, he told his father it had been a beautiful day on the water with no fog. They talked about finding time to finally get out on his boat together.

“He was really proud of it and he wanted to get me out there to go fishing with him,” Ron Michaud said.

Barely 24 hours later, Tylar Michaud’s boat, Top Gun, was found with no one aboard, setting off an intense search for the 18-year-old commercial fisherman.

After an unsuccessful weekend search that was at times hampered by thick fog, the Maine Marine Patrol continued searching for Michaud on Monday.

But around 8:30 p.m. Monday, Jeff Nichols, a spokesman for the Maine Department of Marine Resources, said the search effort turned up empty. Nichols said the Maine Marine Patrol “will continue a targeted search” for Michaud on Tuesday.

“We appreciate the tremendous support from industry, the community and our sister agencies who have assisted with this search,” Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family as we work to bring closure to this terrible situation.”


Kelliher said additional land, air and water assets will be deployed on an as-needed basis.

The U.S. Coast Guard announced Sunday afternoon that it had suspended its participation in the search for Michaud, who had been working alone on his boat. The boat was found near Jonesport by another fisherman around 5 p.m. Friday.

Michaud was reported missing after failing to return from a day of hauling and setting traps near Petit Manan Point, several miles off the fishing village of Steuben.

The search continued through the weekend but was complicated by dense fog Saturday. The Coast Guard tweeted Sunday that it had suspended the search for Michaud following an air-and-water search that lasted more than 40 hours. The marine patrol has been involved with the search since Friday.

Family and friends describe the search as an effort to bring closure, and talked about Michaud in the past tense Monday, an acknowledgement that there is little hope he will be found alive.

Monday’s search was focused on the waters near Petit Manan Point where the boat was found. The search included marine patrol boats and the Maine State Police/Marine Patrol Underwater Recovery Team. The marine patrol, Army National Guard, Air National Guard and Maine Forest Service conducted an aerial search.


Private planes also joined the effort, and other lobstermen have been doing a grid search by boat. The Michaud family has been searching the shoreline.

“It’s hard to fathom that I haven’t seen him and this has happened,” Ron Michaud said in a phone interview on Monday.

Tylar Michaud was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed fishing and hunting with his father. Photo courtesy Ron Michaud

Everyone in the close-knit fishing community wants to bring closure to Michaud’s family, said Angela Kennedy, whose husband is Michaud’s stepbrother.

“No one wants a man lost at sea,” she said.

Michaud lived in Steuben with his mother and step-father, Valerie and Bryant Kennedy. He loved hunting and fly-fishing with his father, who lives in Pittsfield.

Ron Michaud said his son was an accomplished outdoorsman. They went to camp together to hunt and fish whenever they could. Sometimes, Tylar Michaud would bring along his friends so they could fish together. He bonded with his grandfather and uncle over games of cribbage.


Tylar Michaud was outgoing, personable and loved to tease his family. He could talk to anyone, was always driven and had the most beautiful blue eyes, his family said.

“Tylar lit up a room. He always knew exactly when to bring in the humor to turn every negative situation into a positive,” Kennedy said.

Strong and independent, Michaud enjoyed learning new things and working hard, Kennedy said. He also loved competing with his friends.

“One of his spectacular moves was buying bigger presents for his best friends’ moms than they would buy so he was the favorite,” she said.

Michaud started lobster fishing years ago with the Kennedy side of his family and loved running his own boat.

“He helped build that boat over the winter to make it a really great vessel for him,” Kennedy said. “He was very proud of that.”


Ron Michaud said he used to worry a lot when his son was out lobster fishing, but he also knew his stepfather and stepbrothers had taught him a lot about it.

“He was very eager to learn everything he could and be successful at it,” Ron Michaud said. “He had a drive to fish, to get lobster. We talked about that a lot.”

Michaud graduated from Sumner Memorial High School this year and was very proud of his plans to study engineering at Maine Maritime Academy.

After learning that the Coast Guard search for Michaud had been called off, the principal of the Charles M. Sumner Learning Campus in Sullivan issued a statement.

The Maine Marine Patrol is continuing its search for Tylar Michaud, 18, pictured here, after he failed to return Friday from checking his traps on his boat off Petit Manan Island. Photo courtesy of Gouldsboro Fire and Rescue

“Tylar Michaud, a recent 2023 graduate of Sumner Memorial High School went missing while pursuing his passion as a dedicated lobsterman,” Principal Jackson Green wrote Sunday. “Effective today, the United States Coast Guard and Maine Marine Patrol Service have switched their operations from a rescue to a recovery mission. We will all remain hopeful that somehow, some way Tylar may still be found alive.”

“During his time at Sumner, Tylar touched the lives of many within our close-knit community,” Green said. “He was not only an exceptional student, but also a compassionate, kind-hearted individual who always went above and beyond to lend a helping hand to others. His smile and unwavering positivity brightened the lives of everyone he encountered, leaving a lasting impression on the hearts of teachers, staff and fellow students alike.”


Green invited the community to come to the campus Monday. Mental health counselors were available until 5 p.m. to meet with individuals or in groups to help the community cope.

Ron Michaud was grateful for the efforts of everyone who has joined the search and for all of the thoughts and prayers directed to the family.

A friend of Michaud’s family started a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of $20,000 to help pay for additional aerial searches. It had raised more than $18,000 by Monday night.

Kennedy also started a GoFundMe campaign on Monday raising more than $3,500 to fund a celebration of life for the teenager. Her goal was set at $25,000.

“Tylar’s family is beyond grateful for all the support received so far from the community,” Kennedy wrote in her campaign post. “I know they will further appreciate the monetary assistance to give Tylar the amazing Celebration of Life he deserves. If you would like to donate to his cause, thank you for your generosity. Any remaining funds will be used to create a school scholarship in his name.”

In her GoFundMe message, Kennedy said that Tylar helped build his own lobster boat “into the lobster-slaying weapon it was. Tylar loved lobster fishing, hunting, well, Tylar loved everything. He has a way of making everything amusing and light. If you met Tylar, you know all about how amazing he was.”

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey contributed to this report.

Comments are not available on this story.