January 24, 2016

UPDATE: USCG ends search for
missing hunter, but locals still looking


The U.S. Coast Guard suspended it search this afternoon for a missing Frisco hunter, but local watermen were still searching in and around Hatteras Inlet.

"We're still hoping to find something," said Hatteras charter boat captain, Rom Whitaker, who was out searching this morning with is two sons, Rom Jr. and Cameron. All three of them hunt ducks frequently from blinds in the area.

The two boys, Whitaker said this afternoon, were still searching around Hatteras Inlet for Rich Baran, 47, who went missing yesterday while he was by himself on a hunting trip in the area.

Coast Guard Sector North Carolina watchstanders received a report Saturday at 11 p.m. from a good Samaritan that Baran was overdue from his trip.

A Coast Guard 29-foot Response Boat-Small crew launched from Station Hatteras Inlet to search for the man. An MH-65 helicopter crew from Air Station Elizabeth City launched and arrived on scene.

This morning, searchers found Baran's 25-foot boat near the old Dredge Island in Hatteras Inlet.  In it, they found his hunting gear, ducks, and a phone.  The anchor line was wrapped around the boat's propeller.

The Coast Guard was being assisted by the Hatteras Island Rescue Squad and many watermen from both Hatteras and Ocracoke, who checked all of the blinds in the area. Whitaker said Baran's blind was about 400 yards from the Dredge Island.

The Coast Guard said that it suspended its search after crews searched for approximately eight hours and covered more than 33 miles.

Baran, who grew up on the Jersey shore, has run a guide service out of Hatteras Harbor Marina in Hatteras village for a number of years.

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