A Virginia couple that was missing at sea for 11 days is back home safe. Yanni Nikopoulos and Dale Jones set sail from their home in Virginia Beach on June 8th headed for Portugal, but a few days later, somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, they hit rough weather. Their sailboat was struck by lightning about 460 miles into their journey and they decided to turn around.
One of Jones’ children reported their situation to the Coast Guard after receiving word from the couple about their trouble, but the Coast Guard was unable to contact the couple by maritime radio. They even sent a helicopter over the area where they were reported to have experienced the inclement weather, but there was no sign of the boat.
Then on June 24th, the boat was spotted 80 miles off the coast of Virginia’s barrier island town of Chincoteague. The couple had to rig up a spare sail to make the voyage home, but were unharmed and not in distress. They returned to port in Virginia unassisted and reunited with their family.