, Newburyport, MA

June 1, 2011

Divers search Merrimack River for missing man

By Dave Rogers
Staff writer

— SALISBURY - State police divers and Salisbury police are searching the Merrimack River for a local man reported missing since Friday.

Twenty-nine-year-old Derrick Lee was last seen Friday night around 9 p.m. on the 20-foot cabin cruiser he has been living in, moored at the Ring’s Island Marina off First Street, according to police Chief Richard Merrill.

According to Merrill, Lee was thought to have travelled to Haverhill to visit a relative over the Memorial Day weekend. But when he never showed up, family members became concerned and alerted police Tuesday morning. State police recovery divers, riding in 24-foot-long Captain James P. Corbin harbormaster’s boat, began a grid-by-grad search of the river that morning and continued to search until 1 p.m. yesterday. Local and state police are expected to continue to search.

Merrill and Salisbury harbormaster Ray Pike both called the effort a search and recovery operation and not a rescue which would mean the Coast Guard would be leading the search.

Lee has worked at the popular marina since March and was offered the motor-less boat as a place to live in return.

Family members were at the marina yesterday awaiting any news of their loved-one.