By Associated Press - Thursday, January 23, 2020

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Two people were pulled unresponsive from the Atlantic Ocean on Thursday after a fishing boat’s automated emergency beacon was issued 45 miles southeast of Portland, the Coast Guard said.

A Coast Guard rescue swimmer found an empty raft and two people face down in the water, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Zachary Hupp.

Two people were on the Kennebunkport-based fishing boat Hayley Ann when an automated distress signal alerted the Coast Guard to a problem. The boat had taken on water, but it’s unclear whether it sank, Hupp said.

The crew of another fishing boat pulled the people board after a Coast Guard rescue swimmer assessed the situation, Hupp said. The identities of the fishermen weren’t immediately released; a Coast Guard cutter was escorting the fishing boat back to shore.

An aircraft and two helicopters from Air Station Cape Cod participated in the search. A Coast Guard cutter and fishing boats joined the search.

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