Survival expert says missing fishermen could be alive
By: Rebecca Turco
TIVERTON, R.I. The Coast Guard has suspended the search of two south coast fishermen, two days after the clam harvesting vessel the Misty Blue went down, but one survival expert believes there is a chance they're still alive.
Brian Flowers works at Life Raft and Survival Equipment in Tiverton. He estimates you could survive up to 72 hours in cold water if you’re wearing an immersion suit.
Immersion suits are insulated, full-body flotation devices. "You're not taking on any water in your suit at all,” he explains. “You're just warm from the suit itself."
The Coast Guard confirms there were immersion suits on the Misty Blue. The unknown is whether Michael Roberts of Fairhaven and Jonathan Saraiva of New Bedford were wearing them when the ship went down. At least one of them was last seen trying to put on an immersion suit.
“There is a chance they could still be out there,” Flowers says. "We just hope that they were able to utilize the equipment that they hope to never use."
The captain and crew member who were rescued were not wearing immersion suits, according to the Coast Guard.