Caption: Tyler Michaud, 18, did not return home from hauling lobster traps in Jonesport Friday. Searchers found his boat -- F/V Top Gun -- later that evening but continued to search for the 2023 Sumner grad as of Sunday afternoon. Photo courtesy Charles M. Sumner Learning Center.

Community Raises $25,000 as Search for Missing Fisherman Continues

By Will Tuell

The family of a missing Steuben fisherman who did not return home from hauling lobster traps in Jonesport July 21 has not given up hope that 18-year-old Tylar Michaud will be found, according to family friend Joline Brown. Brown, who spearheaded a community effort to raise almost $25,000 in two days, said that volunteers will scour air, land, and sea as the likelihood of Michaud’s survival diminishes with each passing day.

“First of all, I want to extend my deep appreciation to everyone who has contributed to the cause,” Brown said in an update on the GoFundMe page she created to help the family with the cost of covering the search, “The search is still very much active and volunteer pilots are still airborne, scouring the land and sea for any sign of Tylar. Our thoughts continue to be with Tylar's family and friends as the painstaking process of finding him continues. We have not given up hope. I have reached out to Maineiacs Charities INC. (a local third-party non-profit) and they have agreed to assist with distributing the funds and keep the airplanes fueled and ready to go. Please continue to share the fundraiser as we will continue to search until we bring Tylar home.”

Maine Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Pat Keliher said in a news release July 25 that his agency is also committed to continuing the search after the Coast Guard suspended their efforts the previous Sunday.

"We appreciate the tremendous support from industry, the community, and our sister agencies who have assisted with this search,” Keliher said, alluding to the massive outpouring of help from the fishing industry, community volunteers, and Michaud’s family and friends. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family as we work to bring closure to this terrible situation.”

Brown, who works with Michaud’s father in the Maine National Guard, said she hopes enough funds are raised -- $20,000 initially though that amount has been increased to $30,000 – to keep the search going for several weeks, or until Michaud is found, whichever comes first.

“On Sunday [July 23] the U.S. Coast Guard ended its participation in the search. However, we are not giving up on finding Tylar and several of my coworkers are donating their time flying in search of him,” she said. “We are hoping to raise $20,000 in order to keep two - three aircraft airborne for two-to-three weeks. The aircraft and the pilots have generously been donated, the funds will offset the cost of fuel. Please help if you can. A young man with a bright future ahead is missing and his family wants only to bring him home.”

Those wishing to donate can do so at https://gofund.me/da5c3cc2

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