Police: Missing man’s boat went in circles

March 20, 2010 5:22 PM

NANTUCKET – Investigators believe Jonathan Hemingway, the 36-year-old father of two who went missing Wednesday, has drowned.

Nantucket Lt. Jerry Adams said based on an investigation of boat navigation equipment, the Nantucket man went overboard Wednesday, nine miles off the coast of Nantucket.

Hemingway left Hyannis at 9 p.m. for Nantucket. His wife, Katherine, 36, and their two children, a toddler and a baby, went below deck to sleep at 9:15 p.m., Adams said. They woke at 3:15 a.m. The boat had hit Cliff Beach. The motor was still running, and no one had thrown an anchor.
Hemingway was gone.

The U.S. Coast Guard and other investigators examined Hemingway’s Global Positioning System onboard his 23-foot powerboat, the Katie B.

It showed that the boat, a Maritime Patriot, was on a steady course toward Nantucket until about the last nine miles of the 30-mile trip, said Coast Guard Station Brant Point senior chief T.J. Malvesti.

At that point, it began to take an erratic path, doing slow circles until it hit the shoreline, Malvesti said.

The Coast Guard estimates that Hemingway went overboard at about midnight, or slightly after, he said.

He was not wearing a life-jacket, Malvesti said.

Weather conditions were calm that evening. That model of boat does have a comfortable berth where an adult and two small children could easily sleep, Malvesti said.

Though his wife, Katherine discovered Hemingway missing at 3:15 a.m., no one called the Coast Guard until 2 p.m.

Adams tried yesterday in a phone interview to explain why Katherine did not call the Coast Guard sooner. She thought her husband was on land, he said.
“She thought he had gone to get transportation for them,” Adams said.

The police got their first call on his disappearance shortly before noon, but they didn’t call the Coast Guard at first either, because the police heard Hemingway had already spoken with someone on the island that morning, Adams said.

That information turned out not to be true, and police called the Coast Guard at 2 p.m., Adams said.

Copyright © Cape Cod Media Group, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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