Weather-related conditions are just some of the many dangers that people face when they are out on the water. Even experienced boaters can fall victim to tragedy in these scenarios, as is the case with Walter Tate and his nephew, Steven, from New Bern, North Carolina. On March 7, the U.S. Coast Guard called off a search for the men after their 67-foot vessel was swept away by heavy seas the previous morning.
According to The Associated Press, another ship was towing the Tates' boat about 15 miles east of Assateague Island in Maryland after it had become disabled. The two fishermen were in the ship's pilot house when a large wave struck the vessel, causing it to become separated from the other watercraft. Another passenger who had been with them, Patrick Small, was rescued from the water without a life jacket on, but the Tates were nowhere to be found.
The Coast Guard searched more than 560 square miles of the area near where the incident occurred, but ultimately made the decision to suspend the search at around 1 p.m.
Walter's sister, Julia Respass, told the source that she wasn't feeling optimistic about her 80-year-old brother's rescue.
"We're losing hope. They didn't have their survival suits on. And then, even if they got out of the pilot house, they could have never survived too long in the water," Respass said. "Their livelihood has been on the water. It's a dangerous job, but it was a job."
It's important for commercial and recreational boat owners to be aware of the risks they face when they take their vessels out to sea. Additionally, it's a good idea to be prepared for the worst case scenario, and one way to do this is by working with a marine insurance agency that can help people find the best rates and ensure that they are covered in the case of an accident.