A CHILLING message was received from two boaters Yanni Nikopoulos and Dale Jones before they disappeared while on a sailing trip.
Yanni Nikopoulos and Dale Jones, who were last seen leaving Virginia on June 8 and heading to the Azores, Portugal, are the subjects of an immediate and intensive search.
After running into some rough seas and suffering some damage to their vessel, the boaters revealed to Jones’ daughter on the 13th of June that they were planning on making their way back to Virginia.
Their phone call to Jones’ daughter came from 460 miles away.
Since then, there has been no word from them.
Nikopoulos and Jones, both aged 65, are Virginia Beach natives.
The region where the missing boaters were last seen has been searched by members of the United States Coast Guard.
Two searches have been carried out by Coast Guard planes in an effort to locate the missing individuals.
In addition, the command center for the Fifth Coast Guard District sent out a bulletin to boats, advising them to be vigilant for any sightings of Nikopoulos and Jones.
On June 17, Jones’ daughter phoned the Coast Guard once more, stating that she was anxious since she had not gotten any additional communication from her mother and that she had not heard from her since June 17.
According to her statement, Nikopoulos and Jones were expected to return to Virginia around the 20th of June; however, a specific date for their return had not been determined at the time of her statement.
“In situations like this, where there are so many unknowns, our coordination efforts need to cast a wide and intentional net,” said Chief Brian Gainey, command duty officer. “We’re tracking cell phone and radio pings as we work with our counterparts in Bermuda to accurately determine the most intelligent search area for our air crews. It’s a lot of detective work, but it’s all in service to finding these two individuals and bringing them home to their families.”
Anyone who may have information regarding the search for the missing boaters is urged to get in touch with the Fifth District Command Center at the number 757-398-6390 as soon as possible.