Coast Guard suspends search for missing boater

5th Coast Guard District News
PORTSMOUTH, Va. – The Coast Guard and local responders suspended their search Sunday for a man who went missing Saturday after sailing from Western Branch Diesel here on his way to First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach.

Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads watchstanders were notified at approximately 7:30 a.m. by a caller from Old Point Comfort Marina in Hampton that a good Samaritan discovered a 28-foot sailing vessel adrift near the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel in the vicinity of Willoughby Bay.

Coast Guard crews aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., Coast Guard Cutter Ibis, and from Coast Guard Station Portsmouth were launched to search. Members of the Virginia Marine Police, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Portsmouth Fire Department, Newport News Fire Department, Norfolk Police Department, Hampton Fire Department and the Navy Sewell’s Point Harbor Patrol searched for Jeff Harwood for approximately 16.5 hours in an area of approximately 465 miles.

Harwood had filed a float plan and intended to sail from Western Branch Diesel here and arrive at First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach at approximately 9 a.m. Saturday.

Anyone with information regarding the case is asked to call Sector Hampton Roads at 757-638-6637.

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