Sailing Couple Safely Located East of Virginia

June 26, 2022

Following a search that involved local officials assisting the US Coast Guard, two American citizens — who had been reported overdue — were safely located approximately 80 miles east of Virginia.

U.S. Coast Guard Statement

A spokesperson said, “The two boaters who were reported overdue after failing to return to Hampton have been located safely Friday approximately 80 miles east of Chincoteague.

“The overdue boaters, Yanni Nikopoulos and Dale Jones, contacted watchstanders in the Coast Guard Sector Virginia command center to inform them of their safety and are now en route to Hampton.

“The pair reportedly were struck by lightning after sailing through inclement weather. After rigging a spare sail, the pair sailed to Virginia.

“The two mariners are not in distress and have not requested Coast Guard assistance. All concerned parties have been informed of the mariners safety.

“We are extremely happy to learn Yanni and Dale are found and are safe,” said James Cifers, operations unit watchstander in the Fifth District Command Center. “It is truly wonderful the pair will be reunited with their friends and family soon.”

Bermuda Maritime Operations Statement

A spokesperson said, “RCC Norfolk contact RCC Bermuda regarding a unreported sailing vessel which departed from Hampton Virginia on the 8th June bound for the Azores. The vessel communicated to family members on the 13th June advising that they had received some weather damage and were returning to Hampton Virginia, from a position 460 miles east of Virginia Beach.

“The vessel then failed to send any further messages and was considered unreported, the U.S Coast Guard worked with Rescue Co-ordination centers in Canada, Bermuda and the Azores to broadcast Urgent Marine Information, regarding KYKLADES.

“The search area was also overflown on two occasions using aircraft from Air Station Elizabeth City. On the 24th June RCC Norfolk reported that that communication had been made with KYKLADES in a position 75 miles off Norfolk Virginia, both sailors were well and the loss of communication is thought to be the result of a lightening strike.”

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