Missing sailors along eastern USA coast

Published on December 13th, 2022

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.

Sail GP

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.

UPDATE: (December 13, 2022) – The U.S. Coast Guard, with assistance from the tanker vessel Silver Muna, located the sailing vessel Atrevida II, approximately 214 miles east of the Delaware shoreline.

Hyde, DiTomasso, and their dog were alive, but the Atrevida II was found to be without fuel and power, rendering their radios and navigation equipment inoperable. Hyde and DiTomasso gained the attention of the Silver Muna crew by waiving their arms and a flag.

The men and dog were brought aboard Silver Muna at 4:18 pm. They were evaluated by the vessel’s medical staff with no immediate concerns. Hyde and DiTomasso will remain aboard Silver Muna as it proceeds to its next port of call in New York, New York where they will be transferred to a Coast Guard vessel for further evaluation and reunification with their family and friends.

“This is an excellent example of the maritime community’s combined efforts to ensure safety of life at sea,” said Cmdr. Daniel Schrader, spokesperson for Coast Guard Atlantic Area. “We are overjoyed with the outcome of the case and look forward to reuniting Mr. Hyde and Mr. DiTomasso with their family and friends.

“We also want to highlight the importance of proper safety equipment and preparedness when going to sea. Having an emergency position indicating radio beacon, or ‘EPIRB’, allows mariners to immediately make contact with first responders in an emergency.”

Search and Rescue assets involved in this effort included:
• Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City HC-130 Hercules airplane and MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews
• A Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater HC-130 Hercules airplane crew
• A Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew
• A Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew
• USCGC Oak (WLB 211), homeported in Newport, Rhode Island
• USCGC Richard Snyder (WPC 1121), homeported in Atlantic City, North Carolina
• USS San Jacinto (CG 56), homeported in Norfolk, Virginia
• Multiple commercial and recreational vessels along the U.S. eastern seaboard

UPDATE (December 14, 2022) – Earlier reports omitted that the yacht was also dismasted.

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