JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Family and friends are still searching for the three local men who went missing off the Georgia coast while fishing. The U.S. Coast Guard has been searching for two days now, but the search continues.
The three men embarked on their journey last Saturday, with the expectation of returning home last Thursday afternoon. However, it’s been three days, and family members have not heard a word from them. They are now hoping for a miracle.
They are on a 31-foot fishing boat, named the ‘Carol Ann’ that went roughly 80 miles offshore Brunswick. The U.S. Coast Guard began a search effort on Friday.
The three men on board are Tyler Barlow, Caleb Wilkinson, and Dalton Conway.
Stevie Conway, Dalton’s sister and Caleb’s girlfriend told Action News Jax, “It’s absolutely terrifying. We are sick to our stomachs. Lots of tears and gatherings, getting together to try to uplift each other and stay positive whenever we’re all wanting to fall apart.”
This was just another business trip for Dalton and Tyler, who Stevie says are professional fishermen. They go out whenever the weather is favorable, catching deep-sea fish that are in season.
However, this was Caleb’s first trip.
“They usually like to go out about 70 to 80 miles offshore,” Stevie said. “And then, like I said, travel up towards the North Carolina area to catch more fish up there. They did want to go fish the carrier this trip, a sunken boat.”
The Coast Guard told Action News Jax that someone spotted the men fishing at Triple Ledge on Wednesday around 5:00 p.m. Stevie speculates her brother may have led them farther north.
“It’s not very common for him to do this. Usually, he has communication,” Stevie expressed.
Unfortunately, the communication device has been reportedly down since they hit the waters on Saturday, and no one has heard from them since.
The Coast Guard’s air and surface crews were searching all day Friday and Saturday. Stevie maintains constant communication with them, and, as of now, says they have not reportedly found anything yet.
However, there is a silver lining – a raft on the boat equipped with a new form of technology.
“As soon as that raft touches water, it’ll ping the Coast Guard immediately with their location, and that hasn’t happened yet. So, which means that raft has not hit the water,” Stevie said.
Stevie did acknowledge the possibility that the ping may not have worked, prompting the Coast Guard to look for debris and life jackets.
“We’re just continuing to stay positive throughout all this and hoping that the Coast Guard calls us with some kind of good, positive news at some point,” Stevie said.
Stevie Conway states that the boat’s owner and other fishermen plan to join the search tomorrow to assist the Coast Guard in their efforts to find the missing men.
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