Found Safe VA - Yanni Nikopoulos & Dale Jones, Sailing Across Atlantic Ocean

GuyfromCanada

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June 22 (UPI) -- The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for a Virginia couple who set out this month to sail across the Atlantic Ocean to Portugal, but haven't been heard from in more than a week.

The agency said that Yanni Nikopoulos and Dale Jones left the Virginia coast in their boat on June 8 and were headed for Azores, Portugal -- a journey that's well over 3,000 miles across the Atlantic.

On June 13, the couple reported to a relative that they were almost 500 miles offshore and had encountered bad weather. Also, they said, they'd sustained damage to their boat and were turning around.

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GuyfromCanada

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Yanni Nikopoulos and Dale Jones, both 65, were reported missing late last week by Jones’s daughter, who said she had not heard from her mother since she told her on June 13 that rough weather had damaged their boat, the Coast Guard said in a statement Tuesday. The two were heading back to Hampton, Va., the Coast Guard said.

The couple, who were about 460 miles from Virginia Beach at the time, did not have a set return date but were anticipated to return Monday, Jones’s daughter told the Coast Guard.

 

GuyfromCanada

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Lt. Cmdr. Christopher Pulliam, the Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator in the Fifth District Command Center said in a separate release that they "have not received any signs of distress, however, we encourage the public to keep a sharp eye out for Yanni Nikopoulos and Dale Jones," adding, "We encourage anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of the two boaters to contact the Fifth Coast Guard District at 757-398-6390."

The U.S. Coast Guard tells PEOPLE there are no updates as of Wednesday, and it is still searching for the couple's whereabouts.

Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Connie Terrell also told The Washington Post that it is not believed the couple is "in distress", but the Coast Guard is still looking for their exact location. Officers have also reached out to nearby districts in search of the couple. She said that the damage the couple told Jones' daughter about was due to a broken sail.

 

GraceG

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GraceG

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According to WP article they have a replacement sail, who knows if they were able to hoist it? From the photo of the boat there is an outboard motor, but that wouldnt be much use in a choppy sea...no mention of radios onboard.
The report I linked said the mast was lost. So I'm not sure how they could have gotten a (replacement) sail up without it. Hopefully, one of us on here has some sailing experience and can clarify.
 

KBlackRabbit

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Here's a BOLO for the boat. 40 foot on the open Atlantic and had lost a sail and mast due to "heavy weather". They also did not have a registered EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) on board. I'm afraid this is not going to end well. Prayers for them both.

Urgent Bolo for SV Kyklades Virginia to Azores - Boat Watch, International search aid for missing & overdue boats.
I wonder how much sailing experience they have and have they made ocean trips before.

No emergency beacon - yikes. I take mine on even easy hikes because bad things can quickly happen and the wild is unforgiving.
 

Unsolved

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Dale's FB. Many posts about working on the boat. Her May 16 post shows the boat in a storm with the caption "And it came out of nowhere! The wind was so strong it leaned the boat to one side. I guess it's a little taste of what to expect on occasion." :(

 

imstilla.grandma

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On Friday, Jones’ daughter reported to the Coast Guard that she had not heard from them and was concerned for their well-being. No date was set for their return, but Jones’ daughter expected them to be back by Monday, the Coast Guard said.
The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for Virginia Beach retirees Yanni Nikopoulos and Dale Jones, both 65, who went missing while sailing to Azores, Portugal Nikopoulos and Jones left Hampton, Virginia, June 8 on their 36-foot sailboat, Kyklades
“We have not received any signs of distress, however, we encourage the public to keep a sharp eye out for Yanni Nikopoulos and Dale Jones,” said Lt. Cmdr. Christopher Pulliam, the Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator in the Fifth District Command Center.

HC-130 Hercules crews have conducted two overflights of the approximate area of the missing boaters and the Coast Guard issued an urgent marine information broadcast to alert boaters in the area.

The Coast Guard is working with authorities in the Azores, Bermuda and Canada trying to help locate the pair.

According to a LinkedIn page associated with Nikopoulos, prior to his retirement, he was employed as a marine mechanic.

Jones previously worked for a furniture rental company. She has two grown daughters.

On May 29, Jones shared photos on her Facebook page from an elaborate house party that her daughters had organized for her and her husband to celebrate their 65th birthdays, retirements and recent wedding.

Nikopoulos was gifted a T-shirt featuring the image of a sailboat and the words: “Yes, I Have A Retirement Plan.”

eta: Is this a correct twitter for yanni nikopoulos ?
 
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GuyfromCanada

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According to a LinkedIn page associated with Nikopoulos, prior to his retirement, he was employed as a marine mechanic.

Jones previously worked for a furniture rental company. She has two grown daughters.

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GuyfromCanada

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That last line of communication came roughly 460 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. The couple was supposed to return from their trip on June 20.

Centeno said because little is known about the couple’s exact location on the water, the Coast Guard has not been able to deploy the assets it normally would in other search and rescue operations.

“We usually do have air support, small boats. The thing about this situation is that we don’t know where to search for them. We also haven’t received reports of distress,” she said.

Centeno confirmed that Nikopoulos is an experienced boater who’s made trips similar to this one before.

Right now, investigators need to narrow down the area of where the pair could be, which is why they’re pinging and broadcasting messages to other mariners on the water to keep an eye out for them.

 

azure

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“We have not received any signs of distress, however, we encourage the public to keep a sharp eye out for Yanni Nikopoulos and Dale Jones,” said Lt. Cmdr. Christopher Pulliam, the Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator in the Fifth District Command Center.
Did they have the means to send out a distress signal?
 

imstilla.grandma

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Did they have the means to send out a distress signal?
I’m not sure… I have a strange feeling about these disappearances.

“Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Connie Terrell also told The Washington Postthat it is not believed the couple is "in distress", but the Coast Guard is still looking for their exact location. Officers have also reached out to nearby districts in search of the couple. She said that the damage the couple told Jones' daughter about was due to a broken sail.
 
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Seni

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — After a week-long search, the Coast Guard has safely located two boaters who were reported as potentially missing.

Yanni Nikopoulos, 65, and Dale Jones, 65, left Hampton on June 8, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. The couple, who sailed toward the Azores, didn’t come back from their trip as scheduled last week.

(...)

On June 24, the Coast Guard confirmed that the couple had been found safe roughly 80 miles east of Chincoteague. They reported that they had been struck by lightning during the stormy weather but were able to continue their journey back toward Virginia after rigging a spare sail.

The couple told the Coast Guard they were not in distress and did not need additional assistance.

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