Son Found After 8 Days Lost at Sea, Mother's Fate a Mystery

The two were reported missing after never returning from a fishing trip.

September 26, 2016, 11:27 AM

— -- The U.S. Coast Guard announced this afternoon that it has decided not to re-open a search for a 54-year-old Connecticut woman who disappeared after she and her son went on a fishing trip last week.

Though her son, 22-year-old Nathan Carman, was found alive after eight days at sea, Linda Carman remains missing, according to the Coast Guard.

But, the Coast Guard has decided not to re-open the ocean search for Linda Carman since she likely has had no food, water or a life raft -- and thus, a zero to minimal chance of survival, Coast Guard Petty Officer Nicole Groll said.

Linda Carman and her 22-year-old son, Nathan Carman were first reported missing Sunday, Sept. 18, after failing to return from a fishing trip they began from Point Judith, Rhode Island the previous day, according to Coast Guard Petty Officer Nicole Groll.

The Coast Guard performed an exhaustive search for the Carmans for six days, covering an area larger than Georgia, Groll said. The search was suspended on Friday, Sept. 23, after the Guard failed to locate them.

But two days later, a Chinese freighter called the Orient Lucky found Nathan Carman more than 100 nautical miles from Martha's Vineyard, Groll said, adding that he was in a life raft with food and water. Linda Carman, however, was not in the life raft and was nowhere to be found.

Nathan Carman is currently on the freighter and scheduled to arrive in Boston sometime Tuesday evening, Groll said at a news conference this afternoon. She added that he was in good condition.

The 22-year-old told Coast Guard officials that their 32-foot aluminum center console boat had taken in water sometime on Sunday, Sept. 18, Groll said.

Nathan Carman said that when he went to escape in the vessel's life raft, he could not find his mother.

Groll said the boat sank near Block Canyon off the coast of New York. She added that no mayday call had been made from the boat, though it was unclear if the vessel had a radio.

Coast Guard officials hope to get a "clearer understanding" of what happened once Nathan Carman gets to Boston, according to Groll.

Meanwhile, yellow ribbons and signs expressing hope have been hung on the Carmans' home by family and friends, ABC affiliate WTNH reported.

Family friend Sharon Hartstein told WTNH that Linda Carman was a "momma bird" who would protect her son "at all costs."

"I was thrilled that they found [Nathan], and then I was devastated that Linda wasn’t with him," Hartstein said, adding that she and the family still hope Linda Carman will be found.

ABC News' Devin Villacis and Joyce Alcantara contributed to this report.