Doug Hands Missing – Coast Guard Searching for 32-year-old missing Crabber

Doug Hands Missing – Authorities are growing increasingly worried for the safety of a missing boater.

Reports say Coast Guard searches for missing boater, a 32-year-old veteran of volunteer fire department.

According his wife, Doug Hands was last heard from around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, when he talked to his wife. His boat was found aground on a shoreline in Virginia Thursday.

On Wednesday, October 27, 2021, at approximately 8:11 p.m., fire and rescue personnel from Charles and St. Mary’s County responded to the Potomac River in the area of Buoy 22, for the reported overdue boat. The missing 22-foot Seahawk boat was located hours later run aground on the Virginia shoreline in the area of Westmoreland State Park near the Horsehead Cliffs with no occupants on board.

After approximately 4 hours of searching, crews called off the search for the night and continued their efforts early Thursday morning, where crews continue the search as of 2:13 p.m., on Thursday, October 28, 2021.


Search for Doug Hands:

An intense search involving multiple agencies is underway in Southern Maryland after Doug Hands, a boater was reported missing in Charles County Wednesday evening.

The Coast Guard launched a response boat crew from their station at St. Inigoes along with an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City to the vicinity of Cobb Island on the Potomac River.

According to Bill Smith, a spokesperson for Charles County Volunteer Fire and EMS, Rescue crews said they found Hands boat, which he built himself, run aground on the shoreline of Westmoreland County around 10 p.m. The engine was running and the propeller had a broken blade.

Reports say Doug Hands, is a veteran of the Cobb Island Volunteer Fire Department, he was last heard from at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, according to his wife, who talked to him while he was on the water.

Doug is a commercially licensed crabber who was looking to take full advantage of the last three days left in the crabbing season.

Smith said Hands told his wife he’d be back at the dock in 20 minutes. When 20 minutes came and went with no sign of him, Doug’s wife went to the fire station to report him overdue.

“Doug is a true hero,” Smith said, describing a 2019 incident where Hands saved a woman from jumping off the Harry Nice Bridge.

He was given the Maryland Transportation Authority Police Life Saving Award for his assistance.

Smith added Hands and his wife love to give back to their community. He said the couple are foster parents.

“If you needed the shirt off his back, he would give you the shirt off his back,” Smith said.

According to the Coast Guard, several more Maryland agencies have joined in the search, including Maryland State Police Troopers, Maryland Natural Resources Police, Cobb Island Fire Department, St. Mary’s County Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue, and Towboat Cobb Island.

Coast Guard Cutter Bonito was also launched to assist with the search, along with a Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew, and Naval Air Station Patuxent River aircrews, officials said.

Smith said rescue crews are conducting a grid search, taking it hour by hour. He said crews have no plan to stop looking for Doug’s at this time.

Anyone with information that could assist the police locate him, can contact the Sector Maryland-National Capital Region Command Center at 410-576-2525.