A 77-year-old Frisco commercial fisherman, who had been missing overnight, was found alive this morning in his boat, which was grounded on a reef in the Pamlico Sound off Avon on Hatteras Island.
He was transported by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, where he is being treated.
Wayne Basnett left his home about 8 a.m. Saturday in his 18-foot skiff to fish his nets in the area of Sandy Bay between Frisco and Hatteras village.
The U.S. Coast Guard was first notified at about 5 p.m. Saturday by Dare County 911 dispatchers that Basnett had not returned home to his family as expected.
A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Elizabeth City launched at about 5:42 p.m., and a Coast Guard 24-foot Special Purpose Craft-Shallow Water crew from Station Hatteras Inlet launched at about 5:28 p.m.
Both crews were on the scene searching the Pamlico Sound by about 6:23 p.m., joining crews from the Hatteras Island Rescue Squad and the island’s volunteer fire departments.
In addition, many local fishermen hurried to launch their boats to join in the search for their colleague.
Crews searched through the night, which was unusually warm for December with occasional showers early in the morning.
The searchers were joined by others Sunday at first light. Searching Sunday were vessels from Coast Guard Stations Oregon Inlet and Hatteras Inlet, as well as an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Elizabeth City.
At about 8:25 this morning, a Hatteras Island Rescue crew located the boat with Basnett aboard, unconscious but breathing. The crew brought him to Avon Harbor where Dare County EMS met them and transported the man to Avon Medical Center.
A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Elizabeth City landed in Avon where the man was picked up along with two Dare County EMTs and flown to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital arriving at approximately 10:02 a.m.
Other agencies involved in the search included North Carolina Marine Fisheries, North Carolina Wildlife, Avon Fire Department, Buxton Fire Department, Hatteras Fire Department and the National Park Service.
“We are very pleased that the cooperation among the Coast Guard and our local partners resulted in locating this man and bringing him to the medical care he needed as quickly as possible,” said Chief Warrant Officer Keith Moore, Coast Guard Sector North Carolina command duty officer for the case.
Basnett’s stepson, Charlie Barnett, reported this morning that reports from the hospital were encouraging, where Basnett was conscious at times and able to recognize one of the Dare County EMTs, his grandson, Brett Barnett.