01/19/04 — Goldsboro man missing at sea

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Goldsboro man missing at sea

By Sam Atkins
Published in News on January 19, 2004 2:02 PM

SWANSBORO -- The search for a Goldsboro man lost at sea has been suspended pending further developments, according to a Coast Guard official at Fort Macon.

Alan Braswell at the Fort Macon Coast Guard station said the search will not continue unless something is found, like boat debris. The case will only be closed if he is located, he added.

It was reported that Robert Freeman, 62, of Goldsboro, left Saturday morning from Swansboro to Cape Lookout in his 17-foot, off-white Thunderbird boat. His son contacted the Coast Guard when he did not return Saturday evening.

Air and water searchers launched at about 6:15 p.m. A Coast Guard C-130 airplane from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, rescue boats from Coast Guard stations Fort Macon and Emerald Isle, a Marine helicopter from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point and rangers from Cape Lookout National Seashore Park all assisted in the search.

The rescuers searched the area between Swansboro and Cape Lookout and up to 30 miles off shore before suspending the search at about 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

A small-craft advisory has been in effect in the area since Saturday evening with 45-knot winds and seas ranging from 6 to 12 feet.