UPDATE: The Carteret County Sheriff’s Office reports the missing boater has been located fine in Rodanthe.  He had some issues with the boat and has been located safe.


BEAUFORT, N.C. (WNCT) — The Carteret County Sheriff’s Office has issued an overdue boater alert for a man who has been missing since Tuesday.

Jonathan Earl Hess left the boat ramp in South River on Aug. 2 at around 4 p.m. and has not been seen since. His vehicle is still at the boat ramp and his phone is off. Officials said the last ping was on the day he went missing in Oriental.

Hess is 38, 6-foot-3 and 300 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. His boat is a white 1995 23-foot May-Craft with T-top, Suzuki 250 horsepower. The boat registration is NC3749CH. It is registered to Cape Dredging Inc. in Buxton.

The Coast Guard announced Wednesday evening it had joined the search for Hess and his boat. Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector North Carolina command center received notification of the situation from Carteret County Emergency Dispatch at 10:15 a.m. Wednesday.

The Coast Guard said the boat’s owner searched for Hess overnight with no results, then alerted authorities. A Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City MH-60 Jayhawk Helicopter crew and response boat crews from Coast Guard Station Hatteras Inlet and Coast Guard Station Hobucken are searching for Hess.

Also assisting in the search are personnel from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, Harkers Island Fire Department, North Carolina Marine Patrol, and the South River-Merrimon Fire Department.

If you see him, you are asked to stop him and check on his welfare and notify the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office at (252) 728-8400 or Carteret County Communications at (252) 726-1911.