A boat that went missing in the Great Egg Harbor Inlet was found last night but the boater remains missing.
David McAuliffe's family tells NBC10's Ted Greenberg that divers found the 45-foot Sea Tow boat Cape Hatteras submerged upside down in the inlet. The boat was spotted on sonar and that a diver confirmed that it was McAuliffe's vessel.
The search for a missing tow boat operator was called off more than 24 hours after McAuliffe, 32, went missing on Tuesday.
Lynsey McAuliffe remained hopeful Wednesday that her husband would be found.
"To have the coast guard in my house,... telling me that hope is over," she said while in tears. "I'm not doing it until they show me the hope is over!"
Officials say McAuliffe left Absecon Inlet on his 45-foot Sea Tow boat Cape Hatteras around 7:45 a.m. Tuesday. The boat, which has a gray hull and a white superstructure, was heading towards Great Egg Harbor when it went missing.
Around 10:45 a.m., the Coast Guard received an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) activation alert. EPIRBs are used by boaters to alert rescue authorities and indicate their locations if they ever get into trouble. After they received the alert, officials say McAuliffe did not respond to cell phone or radio calls.
He was the only person on board.
A 400-square-mile area was searched but no signs of McAuliffe were found so the Coast Guard suspended its search.
During the search, the Coast Guard said they spotted some debris from the boat, including a life raft with the vessel's name. Lynsey McAuliffe, meanwhile, tried to remain hopeful that her husband would be found.
"He will not give up!" she said. "His body needs to come home to his family where it's supposed to be so that we can treat him and give him the honors that he deserves!"