Coast Guard suspends search for missing fishermen


    Capt. Oscar Diaz and his nephew, John Ansay, were aboard the F/V Mistress, which the Coast Guard said capsized and sank about 2.5 miles southeast of Block Island. (Richie Clams photo)

    The U.S. Coast Guard said Wednesday that crews suspended a search on the water and in the air for two fishermen who were reported missing New Year's Day.

    Earlier on Wednesday, the Coast Guard said it considered the effort a rescue mission and that it assumes the fishermen put on survival suits.

    But after extensive efforts, the search was called off.

    Capt. Oscar Diaz and his nephew, John Ansay, were aboard the F/V Mistress, which the Coast Guard said capsized and sank about 2.5 miles southeast of Block Island.

    Family members said they were told that if the men aren't found by Wednesday night, the search would be suspended. Relatives pleaded with the Coast Guard not to give up.

    "I just want them to keep searching. Don't give up. Bring my son and Oscar home. That's all. I just want my son home and Oscar home to his family," said Sandy Gallo, Ansay's mother, adding that her son is a husband and father of four. “They said the chances of survival had ended but I believe that he’s still out there and floating. They’re going to bring him home. I have to have hope. It’s my kid.”

    Rose Ansay Moretti, who is Ansay’s aunt, said her nephew celebrated his 31st birthday on board the mistress on Sunday. She was looking forward to him coming home so they could go to Maine this weekend.

    “I got the call at 4 in the morning that his boat went down,” she said. “It’s just -- it’s been hard. It’s been really hard.”

    Coast Guard officials in Point Judith said they received a distress call from the Mistress at about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday that the boat was taking on water.

    The Coast Guard said the F/V Mistress capsized and sank about 2.5 miles southeast of Block Island. (Richie Clams photo)

    The Coast Guard said the crew of the fishing boat Captain Bligh responded to the call and found Diaz's son in a life raft.

    "He was just in shock. He didn't have much to say. We just tried getting him warm, got him into some dry clothes, made him feel comfortable, got him in a bed and wrapped him in heated blankets," said Andrew Arnett of the Captian Bligh.

    Meanwhile, a vigil for the men was held at the First Baptist Church in Hope Valley Wednesday night.



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