Missing Man's Boat Washes Ashore—on Another Continent

It was found 2.7K miles away from where Joseph Matthew Johnson was last seen
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 29, 2022 12:58 PM CDT
Updated Jul 3, 2022 7:02 AM CDT
Missing NC Man's Boat Found 2.7K Miles Away
This photo released by the Carolina Beach Police Department, shows Joseph Matthew Johnson, who has been missing for seven months.   (Carolina Beach Police Department via AP)

(Newser) – The boat of a North Carolina man missing since November has washed ashore thousands of miles away in the Azores Islands off Portugal—and while there was no sign of Joseph Matthew Johnson, relatives still believe the 44-year-old will be found alive. Johnson was last seen leaving the Federal Point Yacht Club marina in Carolina Beach on Nov. 22, the Raleigh News & Observer reports. He was reported missing five days later when he failed to meet a friend for a previously arranged fishing trip. Carolina Beach police say they were contacted by Portuguese authorities when a boat registered to Johnson washed ashore last week in Sao Jorge, 2,700 miles from North Carolina and 900 miles from the Portuguese mainland.

Carolina Beach Police Sgt. Colby Edens tells CBS that the boat was covered in barnacles and seaweed, a sign it had been capsized at sea for "quite some time." Mary Kay Anderson, Johnson's mother, tells the Wilmington Star News that her son learned many survival skills in his 24 years with US Army Special Forces, which included time in Afghanistan. "It's not just hope," she says. "We know he's alive and are praying for his miraculous rescue." The US Coast Guard's search for Johnson in November was suspended after covering 7,500 square miles over 53 hours. (Read more North Carolina stories.)

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