Coast Guard suspends search for boater missing off Outer Banks

Pictured here is the H.M.S Me II, a 35-foot recreational vessel, reported operated by Michael Bye, currently missing off the coast of North Carolina. (U.S. Coast Guard photo.)

Michael Bye, 50, was sailing his 35-foot vessel, the H.M.S. Me II when he failed to make contact with a family member as agreed on Thursday, according to a Coast Guard news release.

His last known position was found by his cell phone near Kill Devil Hills, the release said. Bye was scheduled to meet a friend in Belhaven, North Carolina, on Saturday but did not arrive.

Coast Guard units from Hobucken, Hatteras Inlet, Emerald Isle, Wrightsville Beach, Fort Macon, Oak Island, Ocracoke and two from Elizabeth City aided in the search.

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact the District 5 command center on VHF-FM channel 16 or at 757-398-6390.

“The decision to suspend a search-and-rescue case is never one we come to lightly,” said Capt. Jeffrey Janszen, chief of response for the Fifth Coast Guard District. “We offer our deepest sympathies to the family of Mr. Bye in this difficult time.”

Bye’s age is 50 instead of 72 as reported in an early news release. Bye was also reported missing on Thursday rather than Friday, according to an update from the Coast Guard.

Jeff Hampton, 252-491-5272, jeff.hampton@pilotonline.com

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