Vernon man found at sea after eight days missing


BOSTON >> The U.S. Coast Guard says one of two Connecticut boaters who had been missing for a week after leaving a Rhode Island marina was found alive, drifting on an inflatable life raft off the coast of Massachusetts.

Nathan Carman, 22, and his mother, 54-year-old Linda Carman, of Middletown, disappeared Sept. 18 after leaving a Rhode Island marina to go on a fishing trip in a 31-foot aluminum fishing boat named the Chicken Pox.

According to the Coast Guard, a freighter spotted and picked up Nathan Carman Sunday about 100 miles south of Martha's Vineyard. He was listed in good condition but his mother's whereabouts remain unknown.

"She was not in the raft," Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Nicole Groll told the media shortly after the young man was found. "The whole situation is under investigation."

According to Fox25 in Boston, Carman, who has Asperger Syndrome — a form of autism — went missing in 2011 after he became distraught over the death of his horse, his parents said at the time. After a widespread search, the then 17-year-old Carman was found in Sussex County, Virginia. Police said he took a bus to Virginia and bought a scooter he had planned to ride to Florida.

Nathan Carman is also the grandson of John Chakalos, of Windsor, Conn., who was found dead in his home with a gunshot wound to his head. Chakalos owned a second home in Chesterfield, N.H., and was well-known for his Christmas lights displays, which he spent thousands of dollars on and that attracted visitors from around the region. No arrest has been made in Chakalos' death.

Nathan Carman grew up in Connecticut, but has lived in Vernon in recent years, according to the Associated Press. According to the Hartford, Conn., Courant, Nathan Carman and his mother told friends they were going to Block Island fishing and would return the morning of Sept. 18.

The Coast Guard said the search area for the Carman's was 11,000-square-miles, roughly twice the size of Connecticut. Search vessels from Maine and New York and aircraft from Cape Cod and North Carolina were involved, according to the Courant. On Friday, Sept. 23, the Coast Guard suspended its search.

Sharon Hartstein, Linda Carman's close friend, told the Courant Nathan Carman moved to Vermont in recent years and met up with his mother regularly to go fishing off the coast.

"Linda and Nathan go out at least monthly," she said. "They like to fish."


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