Sunken Boat Salvaged, But Captain Remains Missing

In this video from the Press of Atlantic City, the wife and father of 35-year-old David C. McAuliffe respond to the US Coast Guard’s April 24 decision to suspend its search for the missing tow boat captain. The comments of both Lynsey McAuliffe and David R. McAuliffe in this video reflect the extraordinary pain that families endure when loved ones suddenly go missing while working on the water.

David C. McAuliffe remains missing after his vessel, the 49-foot CAPE HATTERAS, sank in heavy seas near the Great Egg Harbor Inlet in New Jersey on April 23. Salvage crews raised the sunken CAPE HATTERAS out of the water on April 29, but the captain’s employer, Sea Tow Services Inc., said he was not found on the boat. The Press reported that nearly 40 people gathered to watch the salvage operations roughly 100 yards away.

David R. McAuliffe told the Press that the family has accepted his son’s “untimely demise,” but it was very disappointed that the captain was not found onboard the vessel. This is certainly a very sad story, and you can donate to the David C. McAuliffe Memorial Fund by visiting the GiveForward page set up by his family.

During the coming months, the United States Coast Guard will be investigating the cause of the sinking. As of date, investigation into the sinking of the CAPE HATTERAS has revealed that the propellers were shredding. If the propellers were bent, twisted and shredded, it can indicate that Capt. David McAuliffe may have lost ability to steer the vessel which may be a cause of the sinking of the CAPE HATTERAS. Under the maritime law, a damaged propeller is an unseaworthy piece of equipment and if a cause of the sinking of the CAPE HATTERAS, the family of Capt. McAuliffe is entitled to damages for the wrongful death of Capt. McAuliffe and his conscious pain and suffering prior to his death.

Latti & Anderson LLP has helped families through the years who have lost a loved one due to a sinking of a vessel and understand the legal and emotional issues involved in these cases.  We help clients nationwide, and you can enter your information in the form on this page to let our Jones Act attorneys review your case or you can contact our firm today at (800) 392-6072 to set up a free consultation.

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