NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

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November 16, 2012

Merrimack River searched for missing man

NEWBURYPORT -- Police, firefighters and the Coast Guard are searching for a man who may have drowned in the Merrimack River today.

The man has been identified as Richard Decker, believed to be a German citizen who has been living for about a month on a sailboat moored off Cashman Park.

The Coast Guard this morning discovered Decker's capsized dinghy in the river. When his sailboat was boarded, no sign of Decker could be found, thugh his cellphone was still onboard.

The Coast Guard dispatched a helicopter to search the area, and the Newburyport Police dive team has been searching the river in the vicinity of the sailboat, a 37-foot Endeavor.

Authorities have set up a command center at Cashman Park. The park is located about a quarter mile upriver from the Route 1 Gillis Bridge. 

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