Missing boater identified, found alive without life jacket, treading water for 9 hours
By Alexandra Cowley
UPDATE: Point Judith Coast Guard found the missing boater around 4am Wednesday morning treading water between Point Judith and Block Island. The boater, 51-year-old Joseph Gross, was not wearing a life jacket. DEM officials tell us the man had been treading water for 9 hours and describe him as being in good shape. He was transported to South County hospital where he is being treated for exhaustion and hypothermia. He is listed in stable condition.
The Coast Guard tell us Gross had been fishing off of Block Island and had leaned over the side of his boat, when a wave knocked him off.
Coast Guard, D.E.M., and South Kingstown Fire and Police searched overnight for a man they believed was in the water off of Green Hill Beach in South Kingstown.
The Point Judith Coast Guard says a 23 foot recreational fishing boat ran aground at Green Hill Beach with no one on board and the engine still running.
Since the engine was still running, officials believe there was someone on board and the boat did not simply drift out to sea.
The Coast Guard sent five boats and a helicopter to search for the man.
They were alerted about the boat running aground at about 7:15 on Tuesday evening.
D.E.M. officials at the scene of the search told ABC6 News that the boat is registered to a man who lives in Westerly.
D.E.M. officials also told ABC6 News that they've been in contact with the boat owner's family.
They told the D.E.M. that the man went out fishing this morning and hasn't been heard from for some time.