Written by James Fitzpatrick and Laura Stetser Friday, April 26, 2013 04:20 pm
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ATLANTIC CITY â€“ According to a statement issued earlier today (Friday, April 26) by Sea Tow, the vessel that was last seen carrying tow boat operator David McAuliffe, 34, on Tuesday morning has been located.
"Cape Hatteras has been located. Recovery efforts are underway. Tide, weather and underwater visibility are all factors in determining the length of the recovery process. We have no other details or information to share at this time. We ask that everyone please respect the privacy of the Capt. Dave's family during this difficult time," it stated.
Sea Tow took over the boat recovery efforts after the U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search Wednesday for the Egg Harbor Township resident. McAuliffe went missing after the Coast Guard received a distress alert Tuesday, April 23 from an emergency beacon near Great Egg Harbor Inlet.
The Coast Guard searched more than 400 square miles for 65 combined hours before giving up the search.
"We are deeply saddened by the difficult decision to suspend our search efforts for Capt. David McAuliffe," said Capt. Kathy Moore, commander of Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay. "This is a man who made a career of helping others on the water, often placing himself in harm's way to do so. Our deepest sympathies are with his family, friends and fellow mariners."
McAuliffe departed from the Farley State Marina in Atlantic City at approximately 7:45 a.m. Tuesday aboard the 45-foot Sea Tow boat the Cape Hatteras en route to a marina in Great Egg Harbor Bay near Ocean City, according to the Coast Guard.
At about 10:45 a.m., the Coast Guard received an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) activation alert. McAuliffe failed to respond to cell phone or radio calls. Coast Guard officials said the radio beacon indicates the vessel went down in the ocean just off the Great Egg Harbor Inlet roughly between Ocean City and Longport.
The search involved five MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City, four 45-foot response boat crews from Coast Guard Station Cape May, two 47-foot motor lifeboat crews (including one heavy weather crew) from Coast Guard Station Atlantic City, the crew aboard the 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Finback out of Cape May, the New Jersey State Police, local police departments, Sea Tow boat crews and the public.