Coast Guard suspends search for missing mariner off coast of Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The Coast Guard has suspended its search Wednesday evening for a missing mariner off the coast of Virginia Beach, according to a release by the Coast Guard’s 5th District.

The mariner entered the water with two other people 529 miles east of Virginia Beach. After a MAYDAY broadcast was received by watchstanders early Wednesday morning, crews from Portsmouth, Virginia, Elizabeth City, North Carolina and Cape Cod, Massachusetts were launched to respond.

Two out of the three people in distress were recovered by motor vessel Stena Progress before crews arrived. The crew of the HC-130 Hercules, a helicopter from Elizabeth City, deployed a life raft into the water and began searching for the last person.

The HC-144 Casa aircrew from Cape Cod relieved the HC-130 Hercules aircrew from the search Wednesday afternoon.

Crews searched more than 1,069 square nautical miles.

“I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the family and friends who have been affected by this case,” said Capt. Timothy Eason, the Chief of Incident Management for the Coast Guard’s 5th District. “Deciding when to suspend a search is an extremely hard decision to make. Unfortunately, after this period of time in the water and extensive area searched with no sightings, it is highly unlikely we would be able to recover him.”

The Coast Guard has suspended the search pending the development of new information.

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