Coast Guard Suspends Search for Towboat Operator
Thursday, April 25, 2013

The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search 8:15 p.m. Wednesday for a 34-year-old tow boat operator who went missing Tuesday morning after the Coast Guard received a distress alert from an emergency position indicating radio beacon near Great Egg Harbor.

Missing is David McAuliffe.

The 45-foot Sea Tow boat Cape Hatteras departed Absecon Inlet at approximately 7:45 a.m. Tuesday en route to Great Egg Harbor, according to the boat's owner. Three hours later, Coast Guard watchstanders received an EPIRB activation alert. The operator aboard the Cape Hatteras did not respond to cell phone or radio calls.

The Coast Guard searched more than 400 square miles, for 65 combined asset hours.

"We are deeply saddened by the difficult decision to suspend our search efforts for Capt. David McAuliffe." said Capt. Kathy Moore, the 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."

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