Coast Guard aircraft from North Carolina to Florida continued to search for a three-man crew on a 31-foot boat 80 miles off Brunswick, Ga., after they failed to return mid-week as expected. The search has extended over some 20,000 square miles from offshore Georgia to the Carolinas.

Fishermen Dalton Conway, Caleb Wilkinson and Tyler Barlow were expected to return Wednesday. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Charleston, S.C., were contacted by the owner of the fishing vessel Carol Ann Friday.

“The owner stated the crew extends fishing trips to maximize their catch but was growing concerned due to their last communication with the crew being six days ago,” according to an early Coast Guard statement Oct. 21.

In a report Monday Oct. 23, First Coast News at WTLV in Jacksonsville, Fla., reported the Coast Guard operation has involved 16 aircraft and was continuing as a search and rescue operation. Charleston Coast Guard watchstanders received a report from a good Samaritan who stated he may have seen a vessel matching the description of the Carol Ann on Wednesday.

The crew was bound for fishing on the Triple Ledge area off Georgia. 

"We're all hoping they're just drifting off and trying to figure out what to do. We have no idea what's going on. Honestly, we're just hoping that they come home," Caleb Wilkinson's brother, Cameron Wilkinson told First Coast News. 

He added that the trip was his brother's first time deep-sea fishing and took a job with the boat's captain Dalton Conway.

"Caleb's always been very cautious about everything he's done, and if he wasn't comfortable with Dalton and going out there, then he wouldn't have done it in the first place," Cameron Wilkinson said. 

Anyone with information that may assist search efforts should contact Sector Charleston at 843-740-7050.



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