CAROLINA BEACH, N.C. — The boat of a North Carolina man missing for seven months has washed ashore in the Azores Islands, officials announced Monday.
Joseph Matthew Johnson has not been found, Carolina Beach police said in a news release. The 44-year-old resident of Carolina Beach was last seen leaving Federal Point Yacht Club on Nov. 22 on his boat, police said. He was reported missing five days later by a friend who arrived in town for a previously arranged fishing trip, police said.
Last week, authorities in São Jorge Island, a small island in the Azores, contacted Carolina Beach police when they discovered a 2006 Clearwater fishing boat that washed ashore was registered to Johnson, police said in a news release. The island, part of a mid-Atlantic archipelago about 800 miles (1,290 kilometers) west of Portugal, is more than 2,700 miles (4,345 kilometers) from Carolina Beach.
The U.S. Coast Guard’s search for Johnson in November covered nearly 7,500 square miles (19,425 square kilometers), but it was suspended when no new information was found, news outlets reported. Portuguese authorities are helping Carolina Beach police department as they gather evidence and continue their search for Johnson.