Families announce they’ve ended the search for missing Georgia boaters

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — The families of three missing Georgia boaters have announced they are suspending the search for them after 45 days.

Caleb Wilkinson, Dalton Conway and Tyler Barlow were reported missing of the coast of Brunswick on Oct. 21 after the owner of the boat they were fishing in, the Carol Ann, failed to return on time.

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The Coast Guard search for the men was called off on Oct. 26, but the families were able to raise enough money for several private groups to continue the search.

Last week, the fish bin from the boat was found off the coast of St. Augustine. Search and rescue groups flew helicopters in the area but weren’t able to find any other evidence of the boat.


On Tuesday, the families announced that the last helicopter searching for the men landed at 4:38 p.m. and that they are discontinuing the search until they get new information.

“We are suspending our active search effort as we have exhausted every lead we currently have,” Barlow’s father, Chris Barlow, wrote “Although we have found numerous boat wrecks and debris none have been linked to the Carol Ann.”

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Barlow said he and family members are holding onto hope that they will be “presented with a miracle.”

“We do ask everyone, as they resume their normal daily lives, to keep a lookout when they are visiting beaches or boating for anything that may help us put the remaining pieces of this horrific puzzle together,” Barlow wrote.

Barlow said he never imagined that the last time he saw his son would be the last time.

“Instead of handing him my personal locator beacon and telling him to be safe I would have begged him not to go,” Barlow wrote.

Barlow wrote that having to lead the search efforts as parents was the hardest thing he’d ever had to do, and that the families will lobby for legislative changes that would change how search and rescues are conducted in the future.

Last month, Stevie Conway, who is Caleb Wilkinson’s girlfriend and Dalton Conway’s sister, announced that she is pregnant with the couple’s first child.

Caleb Wilkinson you will forever be my number one love and the other piece of my soul I’ve always been missing,” Conway wrote on Facebook. I’m so blessed and thankful to be carrying our sweet baby as an extension of you. I hope with every bone in my body that you’ll be home soon to be the best dad and partner.”