The search for an 80-year-old Massachusetts man whose unoccupied sailboat ran aground Thursday near Cape Elizabeth has been suspended by the Coast Guard, but state officials plan to continue to look throughout the weekend.

The search by the Coast Guard was called off shortly before 2 p.m. Friday, pending further developments, said Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrew Barresi, a Coast Guard spokesman.

But Sgt. Wesley Dean of the Maine Marine Patrol said state officials will continue to look off the coast for Richard Pratt, using boats and aircraft, through the weekend.

Pratt’s sailboat was found off Cape Elizabeth Thursday evening and Coast Guard and marine patrol vessels searched the area around Kettle Cove overnight and early Friday morning, joined by Coast Guard aircraft after sunrise.

Officials then shifted the search south, to an area offshore from Ogunquit, after reviewing a logbook found on the sailboat. They said it indicated that Pratt might have gone missing after leaving the Isles of Shoals, near the border with New Hampshire, headed toward Wood Island off the coast near Biddeford.

Dean said the area searched was a “best guess” based on information in Pratt’s logbook. He also said that seas were likely relatively calm off the coast of southern Maine during the day Thursday.

He said officials are trying to piece together more information, including when Pratt started out and what his ultimate destination might have been.

He said the sailboat, a 33-footer named Tarrier, is still afloat, even though it ran aground on Richmond Island, just off the coast of Cape Elizabeth. The fact that its sails were set made it difficult for officials to figure out when and where it had last been under Pratt’s control, Dean said. He said the logbook indicated that Pratt spent Wednesday night at or around the Isles of Shoals and set off Thursday morning, apparently for Wood Island.

He said that there’s no apparent damage to the sailboat, but officials will inspect it further once it is hauled from the water as part of the continuing investigation.

Pratt is from Massachusetts, although Coast Guard officials didn’t know what town he is from.

The report of an unmanned sailboat with a skiff in tow was first received around 6:15 p.m. Thursday, according to the U.S. Coast Guard station in South Portland.

Two Coast Guard vessels, a seaplane and a helicopter along with the Maine Marine Patrol, Scarborough Fire Department and Cape Elizabeth’s Water Extraction Team were involved in the search early Friday.

Richmond Island, which is visible from Crescent Beach State Park in Cape Elizabeth, is only accessible by boat.

Anyone with information about the man or his whereabouts should contact the Coast Guard at 767-0303.

Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at:

[email protected]

Gillian Graham can be contacted at:

[email protected]

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