‘They have reasons to come home;’ Families of missing fishermen won’t give up the search

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — It’s been almost two weeks since three boaters hit the waters on a fishing trip out of Georgia.


The search was called off yesterday pending new information. So, the family is taking matters into their own hands.

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While the Coast Guard has suspended the search, family members told Action News Jax they will not stop looking until they get answers. They set up a GoFundMe to raise money to hire pilots, boaters, and anyone who can help keep searching until their “boys” come home.

“We feel like there’s more to be done,” Stevie Conway, Dalton Conway’s sister said.

Dalton Conway, Caleb Wilkinson, and Tyler Barlow began their fishing trip on Sat., Oct. 14, and were due back 4 days later, but they never returned.

Related Story: Family of fishermen missing off Brunswick coast say they’ll keep searching if Coast Guard stops

New surveillance pictures show the day they boarded the vessel. They left on the 31-foot ‘Carol Ann’ to go about 80 miles off the Brunswick Coast.

New surveillance pictures show the day the missing fishermen boarded the 31-foot fishing vessel, 'Carol Ann.'

The boat owner told the U.S. Coast Guard he hadn’t had communication with them since they hit the waters. After searching more than 94,000 square miles, the Coast Guard suspended the search.

“We’re quite infuriated being that as you know, the search didn’t even last a full week,” Stevie said.

Related Story: Georgia state Rep. urges Coast Guard to continue search for fishermen missing off Brunswick coast

Stevie Conway is Dalton’s sister and Caleb’s girlfriend. She said they received a lot of tips from the marine community, including flares seen in the water about 230 miles off Charleston, South Carolina, and a potential flare spotted by some buoy cameras.

While the Coast Guard didn’t find anything, the family still has hope.

Related Story: Family holds onto hope as search continues for three missing Georgia fishermen

“I have total faith in them,” Dalton’s mother, Shannon Conway, said. “They have reasons to come home.”

That reason... Caleb is expecting his first child.

“Get home, this baby’s ready for you,” Stevie said. “I’m ready to tell you what we’re having.”

Stevie is 4 months pregnant. She’s keeping the gender private at this time.

One of the missing fishermen, Caleb Wilkinson, is expecting his first child with his girlfriend, Stevie Conway.

“I want to make sure that he knows before we tell the world, okay.”

Family members said they believe the men have traveled north along the Gulf Stream. So, they are now leaning on the community to find their men.

DEEMI Search and Rescue out of Maine confirmed they will use their imagery technology to assist.

Related Story: Coast Guard searching for 31-foot fishing boat that went missing off the Georgia Coast

“Real people can actually look at that imagery, and look for the colors of the, you know, that the people were wearing and the color of the boat,” Richie Bowie said.

Bowie is the Director of DEEMI. He said they could still be alive if they are on the boat. He’s found people before.

“Let’s give them that chance and go ahead and fly that imaging mission, you know, along the line of the Gulf Stream and determine what we can get,” Bowie said.

Family members are working to get the Cajun Navy in the search. They are a national volunteer group known for its search efforts.

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If you want to support the search efforts, two GoFundMe’s can be found by clicking here or here.

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