A stolen tugboat was found half submerged in the waters off Sabin Point in Riverside early Tuesday morning. Around 6:30 AM rescue crews had called off a search for two people who were seen on board. The Coast Guard believes anyone who may have been on the vessel would have made it safely to shore.
East Providence Police and Fire were called to the scene just after midnight. They had received reports of a distressed vessel with at least two people on board shining flashlights or cell phones. The Battalion Fire Chief says when crews made it out to the boat there was no one on board. A water and air search was conducted, but turned up nothing.
According to police the owner of the tugboat reported it stolen from a dock at the Oyster House in East Providence. Investigators could be seen searching the vessel for clues.
A man was found soaking wet on shore not far from Sabin Point, but police say he denied having anything to do with the stolen boat. Investigators consider the man a person of interest. The second person remains unaccounted for.
Officials with the U.S. Coast Guard and the state DEM are trying to come up with a plan to get the tugboat off the sandbar without oil or gas spilling into the water.
(C) WLNE–TV 2014 Follow me on Twitter @MelissaARandall