Read the transcript of the US Coast Guard’s phone call with Nathan Carman

Nathan Carman, 22, was lost for a week at sea after a boating accident that led to his mother’s presumed death. Carman was rescued Sunday when a Chinese freighter found him on a life boat floating about 115 miles off Martha’s Vineyard.

While aboard the freighter, Carman spoke on the phone with the US Coast Guard before a Coast Guard boat picked him up and brought him to shore. (Carman later said in interviews on shore that he didn’t have time to make a mayday call on his radio.)

The following is a transcript of a recording of the phone call that was released by the Coast Guard. In it, Carman describes what happened on the boat.


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Carman: “Hello, this is Nathan Carman.”

Coast Guard: “Nathan, this is the United States Coast Guard Boston.”

Carman: “Yes, I hear you.”

Coast Guard: “Yes sir, I need to understand what happened.”


Carman: “Mom and I, two people — myself and my mom — were fishing at Block Canyon and there was a funny noise in the engine compartment. I looked and saw a lot of water. I was bringing — I had my mom bring in the reel. I brought the safety stuff forward. I was bringing one of the safety bags forward — the boat stopped out from under my feet. When I saw the life raft, I did not see my mom. Have you found her?”

Coast Guard: “No, we haven’t been able to find her yet.”

Carman: “So I got to the life raft after I got my bearings, and I was whistling and calling and looking around and I didn’t see her.”

Coast Guard: “Understood, OK.”

Carman: “We were fishing around Block Canyon.”


Coast Guard: “Right and when did that happen?”

Carman: “I don’t know the exact coordinates.”

Coast Guard: “Do you remember the day?”

Carman: “Yes, it was a week ago today, around midday.”

Coast Guard: “Ok, so last Sunday?”

Carman: “Yes.”

Listen to the call:

Olivia Quintana can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @oliviasquintana.