Nathan Carman, the rescued boater found drifting at sea for more than a week spoke out about the events leading up to the moment the mother-and-son fishing trip turned tragic.
In an interview with ABC News, Nathan, 22, said he had nothing to do with the disappearance of his mother, 54-year-old Linda Carman, but did admit he felt partially responsible for her presumed death because it was his suggestion to go fishing on Sept. 17.
“I know I wasn’t responsible for the boat sinking. I know that I wasn’t responsible for anything that resulted from the boat sinking. I know I wasn’t responsible for my mom’s death,” he told ABC News on Sept. 29.
“But at the same time I feel like I was responsible for my mom and I being out there and in the situation. If I hadn’t asked my mom to go fishing with me that weekend, she would still be alive with me today.”
Nathan was found in good condition by a Chinese freighter, about 100 nautical miles south of Martha’s Vineyard on Sept. 25. Linda was nowhere to be found and is presumed dead.
Following Nathan’s return to Boston via the freighter, police obtained a search warrant as part of the missing person investigation. Authorities searched Nathan’s Vermont home Monday night and seized a modem, a Garman SIM card, and a letter written by Nathan.
According to the police affidavit, authorities were in search of maps, books, global positioning devices that would give an indication of the Carmans’ location or destination, reported the Hartford Courant. Linda was under the impression the pair would travel 20 miles offshore; Nathan believed they were traveling 100 miles offshore.The affidavit also stated the boat needed mechanical repairs.
“The investigation revealed that Nathan’s boat was in need of mechanical repair and that Nathan had been conducting a portion of these repairs upon his own volition which could have potentially rendered his boat unsafe,” the affidavit read.
Nathan said the boat was safe and he wouldn’t have embarked on the fishing trip had he believed otherwise.
Nathan and his mother left Port Judith, Rhode Island, on Sept. 17 for a fishing trip on Block Canyon and didn’t return that night. According to the Coast Guard, no calls for assistance were ever made. Nathan said he didn’t call for help because he didn’t believe they were in imminent danger.
“I didn’t know that we were sinking. I knew that we had a problem but I didn’t know that we were sinking until we sank,” he said. “I did not realize we were in distress. I wasn’t certain that we were in distress.”
He continued, “I didn’t think we were sinking. … I thought I was going to diagnose the problem and that we were going to go back to shore. As I was carrying one of the pieces of safety equipment, the boat sank and I felt the boat was sinking very rapidly. … I was walking on the deck and it was there and then it wasn’t.”
The Coast Guard conducted an exhaustive search that expanded over 62,000 square miles, including the vicinity of Block Canyon—the location where Nathan was found floating on a four-person inflatable life raft.
The Coast Guard said that it would not reopen a search for Linda. Nathan has not been charged in connection to the disappearance of his mother.