NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

November 17, 2012

Man presumed drowned

Police search river for man believed to have fallen from boat

(Continued)

After selling the motor home and buying the sailboat, Decker lived on the boat, which was actually moored in at Crowley’s mooring on the Salisbury side of the Merrimack River. The two then worked to improve it together.

By 3 yesterday afternoon, Howard said the circumstances weren’t in Decker’s favor. The swamped dingy, the temperature of the water, the number of hours Decker had been missing and likely in the river, and the fact that the tide had turned and was heading back out to sea all led Howard to believe the situation would not turn out well.

“The reality is that this is a search and recovery mission,” Howard said.

With the Coast Guard helicopter hovering as it hunted the waters for any sign of Decker, and dark approaching, Howard said the dive team would soon have to stop their search. In addition, he said, since the boat was technically on Salisbury’s side of the river, the case would be turned over to that town and state officials.

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