Boat Recovered, Boater Still Missing

Crews raised a tow boat that sank near the Great Egg Harbor Inlet last week as the search continues for the missing captain.

The 45-foot Sea Tow boat, Cape Hatteras, which belonged to Captain David McAuliffe, was raised Sunday afternoon, around 1:45 p.m.

The boat was towed to Longport, N.J. where crews raised it from the water and searched for McAuliffe inside the wreckage. He was not found however.

On Tuesday, a distress call went out three hours after McAuliffe did not respond to cell phone or radio calls. Rescue crews were unable to locate him.

McAuliffe’s wife, Lynsey, 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 the 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. On Thursday the boat was found submerged upside down in the Green Egg Harbor Inlet. There was no sign of McAuliffe however.

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!" 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us