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Coast Guard ends search for 3 missing Georgia boaters after scouring 94,000 square miles

The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended its search for three men and their 31-foot-long fishing vessel after seven days of searching the ocean.

The agency said in a news release that its crews had searched more than 94,000 square miles, “an area larger in size than the states of Georgia and South Carolina combined.”

The three missing men have been identified as Dalton Conway, Caleb Wilkinson and Tyler Barlow. The three men were hired by the owner of the boat, a fishing vessel named the Carol Ann, and departed Brunswick, Georgia, on Oct. 14 to fish about 80 miles offshore. They did not return on their scheduled date of Oct. 18, and did not respond to attempts at communication.

The missing crew and boat were reported to the Coast Guard, spurring the massive search, which involved multiple helicopter and aircraft crews, several Coast Guard boats, and searchers from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

“Despite the unwavering dedication of our crews, regrettably, we have not been able to uncover any traces of the vessel and have made the difficult decision to suspend the search for three beloved family members,” said Capt. Frank DelRosso, commander of Coast Guard Sector Charleston, in the news release. “We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our partner agencies and the countless volunteers who have lent their assistance in this arduous search. Undoubtedly, they, like us, share in the deep sympathy we hold for the families of the missing individuals.”

Anyone with new information about the case is asked to contact the Coast Guard.

According to CBS News affiliate WTOC, the family of Barlow has set up a GoFundMe and intends on using the money raised to help with the search.

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