Search suspended again for missing boater off North Carolina coast

The Coast Guard suspended its active search a second time for a missing boater Wednesday at 8:15 p.m. off the coast of North Carolina.

Jeffrey Kale, 47, from Clover, South Carolina, was last seen around 4 p.m. on Saturday. He was reported overdue from a fishing trip around 10:30 p.m. on April 6. Kale initially launched his 32-foot Cape Horn boat from Southport Wildlife Boat Ramp in Brunswick County, according to Lt. Carl Hendrickson with the U.S. Coast Guard North Carolina Sector.

Previous coverage: Coast Guard renews search for missing boater after vessel found off Wrightsville Beach

On Tuesday, Kale's vessel was discovered by another mariner, traveling northeast at approximately six miles an hour, 83 miles east of the Wrightsville Beach coast. No one was aboard the boat and there was no visible damage, according to a previous news release from the U.S. Coast Guard. The vessel was towed ashore, and investigators boarded.

That prompted officials to restart a search that had been suspended.

Rescue crews searched by air and by sea for approximately 100 combined hours since the initial missing person's report and covered more than 11,690 square miles, which is an area greater than the size of Maryland.

Crews involved included Navy assets, Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City HC-130 Hercules airplane, Coastal patrol boat USCGC Steelhead (WPB 87324) and multiple good Samaritan boaters.

“We offer our sincere condolences to the Kale family during this difficult time,” said Cmdr. Corrie Sergent, Sector North Carolina deputy commander. “Saving lives at sea drives our rescue crews to train and operate every single day with the hope to bring people home safely, which is why making the decision to suspend a search is truly one of the hardest things for our personnel to make and we do not take it lightly. We are grateful to the various Navy assets, commercial assistance, and multiple good Samaritans who have also assisted in the search.”

This article originally appeared on Wilmington StarNews: Coast Guard suspends search again for missing boater off NC coast