Ernie Sigmon’s family posted the following update on social media on June 20, telling the public that he had been located.
The following message was posted to a Facebook group called “Bring Ernie Home”, which has amassed a large following. Message from Ernest Sigman Jr.:
“God brought Ernie into our home 173 days after this unimaginable tragedy. Our hope, faith and strength have never been so thoroughly tested.
Every day, we feel such a huge loss deep down inside. Ernie was more than just a father, son, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin, friend, boss, mentor; he was someone who supported so many of us to be our best selves.
Just when our hope and patience were running low, God answered our prayers and brought Ernie home. Our whole family is very grateful for your ideas and knowledge that have helped us make great strides.
We generally appreciate your contributions that have helped us find positives to move forward. Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers and supportive efforts to bring Ernie home.
SOLOMONS, Md. — After the tragic news that a water rescue attempt in Chesapeake Bay was turned into a water recovery mission by local first responders on Dec. 29, southern Maryland once again showed its strength in solidarity.
Ernie Sigmon has searched through social media, corporate flyers, extensive national media coverage, and in some cases word of mouth. With his family and friends at the helm, the community is determined not to let any coastline go unchecked.
“We just wanted to bring him home,” Ernie’s aunt, Ann Bork, said at a vigil under the Solomon Islands pavilion. “We need more resources, we want people to come out, if you have time, just walk along one of the coastlines. Let us know where you are and we’ll bring people to you… There are no restricted areas at the moment.”
Many community members continue to seek additional assistance from elected officials and state agencies. From the U.S. Coast Guard to the Maryland Natural Resources Police (MDNRP), the issue has even brought in volunteer support from the East Coast to help with the search.
MDNRP said they have used everything from sonar equipment and crew to aircraft searches. It’s no secret, however, that unsafe weather conditions are sometimes the viewer’s enemy.
“We would like to thank everyone here who helped us with our search. We would also like to thank the owner of the boat and everyone who was on the coast looking for Ernie,” Ernie’s uncle, Ray Bolke, told TheBayNet.com. “He’s a big part of our hearts.”
The family still plans to continue the search, especially after a piece of Ernie’s skateboard was found south of where his trolling boat was located. They encourage everyone to help as much as possible.
“If it’s the one you love, look at the one you love. Look at the one you love…” Ernie’s aunt said. “They see you, you see them. We just want ours back.”