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Officials: Search of Long Island Sound for 2 boaters suspended

Coast Guard crews suspended their search of the Long Island Sound on Monday night for two people believed to have been aboard a sailboat before it came ashore empty earlier on Truman Beach near Greenport, officials said.

Coast Guard officials were notified about 6:30 p.m. Sunday by Groton, Connecticut police that the pair were missing. The search was suspended at 10:30 p.m. Monday “pending the development of new information,” the Coast Guard said in a news release.

The missing people were identified as Spencer Mugford, 21, and Sophia McKenna, 20, who were last seen via social media at 2 a.m. Sunday, according to the release.

“Suspending a search for missing or overdue boaters is never an easy decision to make after an extensive search,” Cmdr. Andrew Ely, chief of response for Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound, said in the release. “We search for every person as if we are searching for one of our own. We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Spencer Mugford and Sophia McKenna.”

The location where the pair were last seen, according to reports, was off the coast of Avery Point in Groton, Connecticut.

Officials said Mugford was wearing a blue tank top and shorts. Hometowns for McKenna and Mugford were not provided.

The 14-foot white-and-blue sailboat believed to be the vessel the missing pair had used turned up Monday near Greenport, officials said. The sailboat had no mast.

Rescue crews have used various air and sea vessels in the search. Teams involved in the search are from the Connecticut state police dive team, the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Groton police, Norwich police, the Mystic Fire Department, New York Parks Fisher Island, South East Marine Patrol, Stonington Harbormaster and Tow Boat U.S.

Coast Guard officials urged anyone with information about the missing pair to contact the Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound command center at 203-468-4401 or on the radio at VHF-FM marine radio channel-16.

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