Missing sailors along eastern USA coast

Dane Kmetz contacted Scuttlebutt as his father-in-law had gone missing on a sailing trip, and would appreciate assistance as the Coast Guard searches for the overdue sailing vessel which departed November 26 from Cape May, NJ.

Missing are Kevin Hyde, a 65 year-old male, and Joe DiTomasso, a 76 year-old male, and a dog. The vessel is transiting from Cape May to Marathon, Florida with a planned port call in Jupiter, Florida.

On November 29, Hyde and DiTomasso ran aground upon entering Rudee Inlet, near Virginia Beach, Virginia. Coast Guard Station Little Creek and Virginia Beach Fireboat 12 helped to safely refloat the boat with no reported damage.

Coast Guard Fifth District command center watchstanders received a report December 11 that the blue and white Catalina 30 Atrevida II had not been heard from since December 3 when it departed from a stop at Oregon Inlet, North Carolina.

The Coast Guard commenced an air and water search effort on December 12, initially focused on the ocean between North Carolina and Marathon Key. The Coast Guard has since expanded its search area from the northern coast of Florida to waters east of New Jersey.

Coast Guard assets in the region continue urgent marine information broadcasts and communications with mariners to help locate the overdue vessel. The assets thus far include:

• Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City HC-130 Hercules airplane and MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews
• Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater HC-130 airplane crew
• Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew
• USCGC Oak (WLB 211), homeported in Newport, Rhode Island
• USCGC Richard Snyder (WPC 1121), homeported in Atlantic City, North Carolina
• U.S. Navy USS San Jacinto (CG 56), homeported in Norfolk, Virginia

“The total area is about 16,000 square miles. So, to put it into perspective, it’s roughly twice the size of New Jersey. We’re looking for something that’s a little bit bigger than a large SUV,” said Commander Daniel Schrader of the United States Coast Guard.

Due to the large search area, the case was transferred to the Coast Guard Atlantic Area Command Center Monday. Anyone with information regarding the Atrevida II is asked to contact the Coast Guard Atlantic Area command center at (757) 398-6700.

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