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Coast Guard suspends search for Anthony Neri

The Coast Guard has suspended its search for a missing man near Avon Wednesday evening.

Missing 75-year-old fisherman Anthony Neri departed the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center aboard a 21-foot white Carolina Skiff at 10 a.m. Monday and did not return by sunset as scheduled, according to his wife.

Coast Guard boat crews from Stations Oregon Inlet and Hatteras Inlet, the crew of Cutter Nathan Bruckenthal and aircrews from Air Station Elizabeth City searched the Pamlico Sound and offshore Outer Banks Monday evening through Wednesday evening.

At 1:40 a.m. Wednesday, an HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Air Station Elizabeth City sighted Neri’s boat adrift and unmanned about 23 miles east of Rodanthe. The Nathan Bruckenthal crew and aircrews refocused their search to the vicinity in which the vessel was found.

Crews searched for a total of 61 hours and covered approximately 4,156 square miles.

Also assisting in the search were personnel with the North Carolina Marine Patrol, North Carolina Wildlife Resources and the National Park Service.

“Suspending a search always weighs heavily on everyone’s heart,” said Capt. Bion Stewart, commander of Coast Guard Sector North Carolina. “ There are simply no words to fully express how sorry we are we were unable to return Anthony home to his loved ones.”

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