Coast Guard calls off search for missing N.C. men

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended its search for two North Carolina men missing off Assateaugue Island since Wednesday morning.

The Coast Guard says Steven and Walter Tate of New Bern, N.C., were onboard a 67-foot fishing vessel, named the Seafarer, when the ship became disabled.

Another boat, the Captain Alex, gave the Seafarer a tow but the Captain Alex lost the limping vessel when weather conditions worsened, the Coast Guard says.

Air rescuers pulled Patrick Small, also of New Bern, N.C., from a life raft in the area of the Seafarer’s last reported location. Small was taken to Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury.

Coast Guard teams continued searching for the Tates until nightfall and resumed their search the next morning. The search was suspended at 1 p.m. Thursday “pending further developments,” the Coast Guard says in a statement.

“We have searched over 560 square nautical miles of the Atlantic Ocean off the eastern shore of Virginia in an effort to locate and rescue (the Tates). It is with a great deal of sorrow that we have been unable to locate them at this point of time,” the statement says.

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