Search underway for sailor after abandoned boat is found in Merrimack River in Newburyport

A search is underway for a missing sailor whose boat was found abandoned in the Merrimack River near Newburyport this morning, the Coast Guard said.

Officials are looking for Norbert Decker, who lived on the 35-foot vessel. Decker is a white male in his 50s with long hair, about 170 pounds, and 5-foot-11.


The sailboat, which was dragging anchor, was reported around 10:50 a.m. by the Cove Marina in Newburyport. A dinghy attached to the boat was overturned.

A dog believed to be Decker’s was found earlier by the marina, around 9:30 p.m. Thursday.

Get Fast Forward in your inbox:
Forget yesterday's news. Get what you need today in this early-morning email.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Decker’s cellphone was also found on the vessel, said Coast Guard spokesman Adam Stanton.

The Coast Guard urges anyone with information to call 617-223-3201 or contact them by radio on VHF channel 16.

Sarah N. Mattero can be reached at
Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
We hope you've enjoyed your free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of