2 missing from overturned vessel off North Carolina coast

North Carolina news

An upturned boat found about three nautical miles off the Beaufort Inlet around 8 a.m. Tuesday morning caused alarm (Source: U.S. Coast Guard District 5)

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – An upturned boat found about 3 nautical miles off the Beaufort Inlet around 8 a.m. Tuesday morning caused alarm after a diver deployed by TowBoat U.S. found all the lights and gear still active.

The diver determined no one was on board the 35-foot vessel and the Coast Guard was alerted.

A report from a family member of one of the passengers confirmed two people had been on board when the boat left Atlantic Beach on Sunday for the individuals to fish near the shore.

The Coast Guard deployed a lifeboat, helicopter, and cutter and has partnered with the Atlantic Beach Fire Department to search an area that spans approximately 200 square nautical miles.

“This is a difficult search and rescue case with a lot of unknowns,” said Cmdr. Tracy Wirth, Deputy Sector Commander for Coast Guard Sector North Carolina. “We are going to do everything we can for these families with missing loved ones. Our air and water assets are currently searching and will throughout the night. If you have any information that can help with our search, please contact our Command Center at 910-343-3880.”

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Coast Guard Sector North Carolina Command Center at (910) 343-3880.

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