Families Suspend Their Search for 3 Fishermen Who Have Been Missing for More Than a Month

The Coast Guard previously suspended its search for the three Georgia men about a week after they were reported missing in late October

<p>GoFundMe</p> Dalton Conway, Caleb Wilkinson and Tyler Barlow


Dalton Conway, Caleb Wilkinson and Tyler Barlow

The families of three fishermen who have been missing at sea for over a month have officially suspended their search.

Dalton Conway, Caleb Wilkinson and Tyler Barlow were reported missing after they did not return from their fishing trip off the coast of Georgia as scheduled on Oct. 18, according to a previous news release from the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard previously suspended its search for the three Georgia men and their boat, the Carol Anne, about a week later. But family members vowed to continue the search for their loved ones.

On Tuesday, Tyler’s father, Chris Barlow, announced that the families agreed to suspend their search for the men as well, noting they “exhausted every lead” they had.

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“We are all so very proud of our boys, they united our community and beyond and have shown us what it truly means to love others," Chris wrote.

The Coast Guard said crews searched more than 94,000 square miles before the search for the missing fishermen was suspended in late October.

Afterward, Tyler’s mother Kimberly Jones shared a Facebook post that said she and other family members would “not give up” on looking for their loved ones.

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"With utmost respect we do not feel that a search and rescue mission ends until these three young men are found or any type of evidence," she wrote in the post.

On Nov. 19, a fish box and buoy balls belonging to the Carol Ann were found 16 miles off the coast of St. Augustine, according to an announcement from the United Cajun Navy, a non-profit group based in Florida.

A possible life raft was spotted that same afternoon, but according to a Facebook post from Tyler’s father, it was not found.

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The families suspended their search Tuesday afternoon, 45 days after the fishermen left Brunswick, Ga., on the Carol Ann. In his statement, Chris said the families were grateful for everyone who lent a helping hand during their time of need.

“We know this was a long and exhausting search,” he said, adding, "We will never be able to express how grateful we truly are.”

Though the search is currently over, Tyler's father asked people “to keep a lookout when they are visiting beaches or boating for anything that may help us put the remaining pieces of this horrific puzzle together.”

He also said the families will continue to live by their “Won’t Stop” motto “by pushing for legislative changes” aimed at helping “decrease the chances” of a similar incident happening in the future.

“Leading the search for Tyler, Dalton and Caleb has been the hardest thing we have ever done in our lives and something no parent should ever have to do,” Chris wrote.

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