The Coast Guard has suspended its search for an Egg Harbor Township boater who went missing on Tuesday. The search was suspended just before 8:30 Wednesday night, April 24.
David McAuliffe, 34, was reported missing around 10:45 Tuesday morning. He departed the Absecon Inlet aboard the 45-foot Sea Tow boat Cape Hatteras around 7:45 Tuesday morning by an emergency position indicating radio beacon near Great Egg Harbor.
He didn't respond to phone or radio calls.
The Coast Guard had been searching for both McAuliffe and his boat.
The Coast Guard searched through the night on Tuesday for the Lacey High School graduate, and continued the search all day Wednesday. It covered 400 square miles and 65 combined asset hours, the Coast Guard officials stated.
"We are deeply saddened by the difficult decision to suspend our search efforts for Capt. David McAuliffe," Capt. Kathy Moore, the commander of Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay said in a statement issued Wednesday night. "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."
It was reported Cape Hatteras had survival equipment aboard, including two survival suits and two life rafts. However, the search was conducted beyond what the Coast Guard termed as the expected survival time for this situation.
This included the possibility McAuliffe was wearing a survival suit and factored in the water temperature, which was 48 degrees on Tuesday and 50 on Wednesday, according to Coast Guard officials.
The Cape Hatteras has a gray hull with a white superstructure, according to the Coast Guard.
Sea Tow is a boat towing and marine salvage company with locations throughout the region. Sea Tow Atlantic City lists the following biography for McAuliffe on its website: "Capt. David holds a 50 Ton Master Captain's License and a commercial assistance towing endorsement. David also runs our (2) 48' Crew Boats for various offshore and inshore companies."
McAuliffe graduated from Lacey Township High School in 1997.
Assisting in the search were:
- Five MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City
- Four 45-foot Response Boat – Medium crews from Coast Guard Station Cape May
- Two 47-foot Motor Life Boat crews (including one heavy weather crew) from Coast Guard Station Atlantic City
- The crew aboard the 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Finback, homeported in Cape May
- The New Jersey State Police Department
- Local police department members
- Sea Tow boat crews
- good Samaritans