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Boyfriend, Girlfriend Go Missing On Long Island Sound

Spencer Mugford, 21, and his girlfriend Sophia McKenna, 20.
Spencer Mugford, 21, and his girlfriend Sophia McKenna, 20. Photo Credit: U.S. Coast Guard

Update

The search for two missing persons last heard from early Sunday morning on the Long Island Sound off the coast of eastern Connecticut was suspended after a 14-foot white-and-blue sailboat with no mast was found on Truman Beach, near Greenport in Suffolk County.

Missing are Spencer Mugford, 21, and his girlfriend, 20-year-old Sophia McKenna, who were last seen shown paddling on a vessel originally thought to be a kayak via social media at 2 a.m., Sunday.

Authorities now believe the two were using a University of Connecticut sailboat and not a kayak.

“Suspending a search for missing or overdue boaters is never an easy decision to make after an extensive search,” said Cmdr. Andrew Ely, chief of response, Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound. “We search for every person as if we are searching for one of our own. We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Spencer Mugford and Sophia McKenna.”

The search is suspended pending any possible new information.

Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound command center received notification at approximately 6:30 p.m., Sunday from the City of Groton Police Department that Mugford and McKenna were missing.

When Mugford failed to make an event Sunday morning, his parents notified the City of Groton Police Department to report him missing. Mugford and McKenna’s departure point was unknown and there was no response from their cell phones.

The Coast Guard along with state and local agencies searched for a total of 71 hours and saturated a 2025 square-mile area to locate the two missing people in the water.

Assets included in the search:

  • A 45-foot Response Boat – Medium from Coast Guard Station New London
  • A 45-foot Response Boat – Medium from Coast Guard Station New Haven
  • A 29-foot Response Boat – Small from Coast Guard Station Montauk
  • An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, Massachusetts
  • An HC-144A Ocean Sentry aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, Massachusetts
  • Coast Guard Cutter Hammerhead, an 87-foot cutter homeported in Woods Hole, Massachusetts
  • Coast Guard Cutter Steelhead, an 87-foot cutter homeported in Newport, Rhode Island
  • Two Navy boat crews
  • Two Civil Air Patrol assets
  • The City of Groton Police Department
  • The Norwich Police Department
  • The Mystic Fire Department
  • The Connecticut State Police Department Dive Team
  • The Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection
  • New York State Parks Fishers Island
  • Suffolk County Marine & Aviation
  • South East Marine Patrol
  • Stonington Harbormaster
  • Tow Boat U.S.

Original report:

The Coast Guard is searching for two kayakers who have been reported missing on the Long Island Sound off the coast of Connecticut.

Spencer Mugford, 21, and his girlfriend Sophia McKenna, 20, were last seen aboard a white tandem kayak via a photo posted on SnapChat at 2 a.m., Sunday morning.

At approximately 6:30 p.m. Sunday, watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound command center received notification from the City of Groton Police Department that Mugford and McKenna were missing.

Mugford was last seen wearing a blue tank top and salmon shorts. McKenna's car was found at Avery Point in Groton on Sunday.

A MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, Massachusetts and a 45-foot Response Boat – Medium boat crew from Coast Guard Station New London launched and are searching.

Anyone with information is requested to please contact the Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound command center at 203-468-4401.

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