‘We need a miracle:’ Family of missing boaters aren’t giving up hope as U.S. Coast Guard continues search

Published: Oct. 25, 2023 at 10:15 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 25, 2023 at 11:14 PM EDT
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BRUNSWICK, Ga. (WTOC) - WTOC is continuing to monitor the U.S. Coast Guard’s search for the three missing boaters.

More than 32,000 square miles of water have been searched on the coast of Georgia, the Carolinas, and now up into parts of Virginia. The Coast Guard spoke to the families of the missing men Wednesday.

According to the family, the search was expanded Tuesday evening to into parts of Virginia’s Coast after new data pointed them that way. The family has pleaded for more time but time, unfortunately they don’t have much of that left.

“We need something, we can’t go with nothing, and not knowing, ever. A heart can’t take that,” said Kimberly Jones, mother of missing fisherman.

The pleas of a grieving family, who’s hope is dwindling...

“I hope and pray that my son is still good, and that he is holding on and all three of those boys have the strength that it’s gonna take for them to get through this,” said Chris Barlow, father of missing fisherman.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard - Dalton Conway, Caleb Wilkinson, and Tyler Barlow have been at sea since Saturday, October 14th. The crew were expected to return that next Wednesday and when they did not show, the Coast Guard took action calling for a search this past Friday.

“At this point, the Coast Guard has put forth a tremendous effort in the area that they have searched and we are incredibly grateful for what they have done,” said Barlow.

Up until Tuesday, the Coast Guard had been focusing their search on the coast of Georgia and the Carolinas but have moved even more north into the waters of Virginia. At this point the family knows that the time and resources are dwindling.

“We just want more time,” said Jones.

That was her plea Wednesday when the Coast Guard announced that they would potentially have to call off the search at sunset.

“If they choose to end it tonight, we are not giving up - not if there are people that have planes and boats. We will take every resource, anything we can try to do to get individual private people searching,” said Jones.

As far as we know, the Coast Guard has not made that call yet even though the family is prepared to continue the search with or without them.

“We need a miracle, we need a miracle,” said Jones.

The family of Tyler Barlow has set up a GoFundMe account that they say they intend to use toward hiring outside sources to help with the search.