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Press Release | March 5, 2024

Coast Guard suspends search for missing person off Oregon Inlet

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PORTSMOUTH, Va. —  The Coast Guard recovered one missing boater and suspended the search for a second boater off the coast of Oregon Inlet, North Carolina, Tuesday, at approximately 6:34 p.m.

Missing is 36-year-old Chad Dunn and deceased is 65-year-old Capt. Charlie Griffin. His pet dog Leila was also found deceased.

Watchstanders with the Coast Guard Sector North Carolina Command Center received a report of two overdue boaters, Sunday, at approximately 11:35 p.m. The pair departed from Virginia Beach and were enroute to Pirate’s Cove Marina, Manteo, for repairs.

"We searched for 41 hours, conducted 12 search patterns, and covered approximately 400 miles by air, sea and on shore with our local partners to find Chad and bring him home,” said Cmdr. Corrie Sergent, Deputy, Sector North Carolina. “No two cases are ever the same. It is one of the hardest decisions to call off a search, and we offer our deepest condolences to the families and friends affected by this tragic event.” 

At the time the pair were reported missing, the visibility was a little over half a mile, seas at 4-6 feet, and wind 10-15 knots.

Crews involved in the search included:

  • Coast Guard Station Oregon Inlet
  • Coast Guard Cutter Steelhead
  • Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City
  • National Park Service
  • NC Fish and wildlife 
  • Dare County Sheriff’s Office

North Carolina Fish and Wildlife will conduct an investigation into the incident.