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Press Release | April 8, 2024

UPDATE 1: Coast Guard suspends search for missing boater off North Carolina coast

Coast Guard its search for Jeffrey Kale, 47, a missing boater April 8, 2024 at 8:20 p.m., after searching for approximately 72 combined hours, covering more than 7,762 square miles along the North Carolina coast.

Editor's Note: Attached is a Coast Guard infographic with case search area, hours and assets involved.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard suspended its active search for a missing boater Monday at 8:20 p.m. off the coast of North Carolina.

Missing is Jeffrey Kale, 47, from Clover, South Carolina.

Coast Guard Sector North Carolina watchstanders received a notification Saturday around 10:30 p.m. from Kale’s family stating he was overdue from a fishing trip aboard a white 32-foot Cape Horn center-console boat.

Rescue crews searched for approximately 72 combined hours and covered more than 7,762 square miles, which is nearly the size of Massachusetts.

“It is with heavy hearts that we suspend our active search for Mr. Kale,” said Cmdr. Corrie Sergent, Sector North Carolina deputy commander. “Our extensive search by air and sea with numerous crews, assets, and several good Samaritans, saturated the various areas we believed he may be. Anytime we conduct a search and rescue it is with the hope of bringing someone back home and safely reuniting them with their family and friends. The decision to suspend a search is one of the most difficult decisions to make. Our thoughts are with the Kale family.”

Rescue crews involved in the search:

  • Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City HC-130 Hercules airplane
  • Coastal patrol boat USCGC Steelhead (WPB 87324)
  • Coast Guard Station Oak Island 29-foot Response Boat-Small
  • Coast Guard Station Wrightsville Beach 29-foot Response Boat-Small
  • Multiple good Samaritan boaters