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Desperate search for Virginia couple who vanished while sailing for the Azores islands off Portugal

Desperate search for Virginia couple, both 65, who disappeared from the radar nine days ago after sailing off the coast of Portugal to the Azores before the boat was damaged 460 miles off the US coast

  • Yanni Nikopoulos and Dale Jones, both 65, were last heard on June 17 when they informed their daughter that their sailboat had been damaged by ‘severe weather’
  • The pair had set out from Hampton, Virginia on June 8 for the journey of approximately 2,300 miles across the ocean to the islands off the coast of Portugal.
  • The Coast Guard has sent two planes to search an approximate area that they believe the skippers may be, but have not reported seeing any sign of them.

A desperate search is underway for a couple who disappeared while sailing across the Atlantic Ocean to the Azores Islands off the coast of Portugal.

Yanni Nikopoulos and Dale Jones, both 65, were last heard on June 13 when they called their daughter and said their sailboat had been damaged by “severe weather” and that they were returning to Virginia.

The pair were located about 460 miles east of Virginia at the time of the call, according to the US Coast Guard

The Coast Guard is using planes to search for the couple, monitoring cell phone and radio activity, and urging boaters in the area to keep an eye out for the couple.

Despite the search and reports of damage, a Coast Guard representative told the The Washington Post on Wednesday that they have no reason to believe the couple is in distress, and that they are simply trying to establish where they are now.

Yanni Nikopoulos and Dale Jones, both 65, were last heard from on June 13 when they called their daughter and said their sailboat had been damaged.

Yanni Nikopoulos and Dale Jones, both 65, were last heard from on June 13 when they called their daughter and said their sailboat had been damaged.

The sailboat of the couple they crossed the Atlantic Ocean with.  Their journey over the Azores would be about 2300 miles

The sailboat of the couple they crossed the Atlantic Ocean with. Their journey over the Azores would be about 2300 miles

Virginia Beach residents Nikopoulos and Jones set out on June 8 from Hampton, Virginia, for the small string of islands that lie about 850 miles west of the Portuguese coast.

Their journey from Virignia to the Azores is approximately 2300 miles.

On June 17, their daughter reported her parents missing to the Coast Guard and told them she hadn’t heard from them since they told her about the damage to the boat four days earlier.

She told the Coast Guard that although her parents hadn’t told her when they would be back in Virginia, she was expecting them around June 20. That day came and went without any sign of her parents.

Yanni Nikopoulos and Dale Jones sailboat, Kyklades.  The Coast Guard has sent two planes to search an approximate area where they believe the skippers may be, but have seen no signals from them.

Yanni Nikopoulos and Dale Jones sailboat, Kyklades. The Coast Guard has sent two planes to search an approximate area where they believe the skippers may be, but have seen no signals from them.

“In situations like this, where there are so many unknowns, our coordination efforts have to cast a wide and deliberate net,” said Coast Guard chief Brian Gainey, “we monitor cell phone and radio pings as we work with our counterparts in Bermuda to get the most accurate results.” intelligent search area for our flight crews.’

The Coast Guard has sent two planes to search an approximate area where they believe the skippers may be, but have seen no signals from them.

The Watch also aired an Urgent Marine Information broadcast about the stretch of ocean they believe the boaters could be to warn other boaters in the area to be wary.

“It’s a lot of detective work, but it’s all about finding these two individuals and bringing them back to their families,” Gainey said.

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