Missing at Sea for 11 Days, Va. Couple Emerges

Yanni Nikopoulos, Dale Jones OK after boat hit stormy weather in Atlantic, knocking out radio
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2022 11:30 AM CDT
Missing at Sea for 11 Days, Va. Couple Emerges
In this photo, Yanni Nikopoulos, left, is pictured with Dale Jones.   (Courtesy of the US Coast Guard)

(Newser) – On June 8, Yanni Nikopoulos and Dale Jones set sail from a marina in Hampton, Va., bound for the Azores archipelago in Portugal, then Greece. Five days later, one of Jones' daughters heard from them, and the news wasn't good: They were caught in stormy weather conditions in the Atlantic, nearly 500 miles off the coast of Virginia, and they'd decided to turn around and head home instead of continuing on to Portugal, reports NBC News. Jones' daughter reported the couple's predicament to the Coast Guard, but that's the last time anyone heard from them, for 11 long days. The Coast Guard tried reaching them by maritime radio, and even sent an HC-130J aircraft to fly over the area where their last call had come from, to no avail.

Then, in a Friday press release, some good news from the military agency: The couple had made contact with the Coast Guard's command center in Virginia, were just 80 miles east of the barrier island town of Chincoteague, and were on their way home, per People. The couple told the Coast Guard that their boat, the Kyklades, had been struck by lightning during the inclement weather they'd hit, apparently knocking their radio out. They managed to get a spare sail up, however, and started their slow journey home. NBC notes the two are either married or about to be, based on social media posts. "It is truly wonderful the pair will be reunited with their friends and family soon," a Coast Guard spokesman says in a statement. (Read more lost at sea stories.)

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