Shaken boater talks to reporters at VT home

Nathan Carman asked "Have you found her?" as he spoke to reporters

(WPRI) — The 22-year-old Vermont man found safe at sea after he and his mother were missing for more than a week, having left from a Rhode Island marina, spoke briefly to reporters early Wednesday morning about the ordeal.

“I would just like to thank the public for their prayers and for their concern for both my mother and for myself,” said Nathan Carman. His father drove him to his home in Vermont after he was dropped off in Boston Tuesday by the freighter that found him on a life raft in the Atlantic over the weekend.

“I feel healthy… Emotionally, I’ve been through a huge amount,” he added.

“He’s lost a little weight, but other than that he’s doing well,” said Nathan’s father, Clark Carman.

Nathan’s mother remains missing and is presumed dead.

The U.S. Coast Guard has released recordings of phone calls between Carman and officers shortly after he was rescued by the freighter. During one of those exchanges, he asked investigators, “When I saw the life raft, I did not see my Mom. Have you found her?”

He said the boat, the “Chicken Pox,” started taking on water quickly, then he heard a funny noise in the boat’s engine compartment and he scrambled to get on the inflated life raft. Carman said he whistled and called out for his mother, but did not see her.

In an affidavit, South Kingstown Detective Alfred Bucco wrote Carman’s boat was in need of mechanical repairs, and that he’d been doing some of the repairs himself — though that “could have potentially rendered his boat unsafe for operation,” Det. Bucco said.

Investigators said Carman had survived for seven days on the life raft, thanks to food and water he grabbed from the boat before it sank.

Bystander’s chat with son

Before the Carmans went on their fishing trip, Mike Iozzi told Eyewitness News he’d struck up a casual conversation with Nathan at a South Kingstown marina.

“I thought he said [they were going to] the canyons which are off Block Island,” Iozzi said. “I didn’t see any fishing poles, and I didn’t even see him with food.”

Search of son’s home

The Windham County (Vermont) Sheriff’s office executed a search warrant Tuesday at Nathan Carman’s home in Vernon, Vermont, on behalf of the South Kingstown Police, who are heading up the investigation. They were looking for any clues that a crime might have taken place the day the boat sank.

Items seized from the home included an Xfinity Internet modem, a Garmin SIM card, and a letter written by Nathan that was found in his truck.