Families, friends praying for safe return of missing fishermen

Madeleine Wright | WPRI-TV

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — Three New Bedford-area men remain missing four days after setting off on a fishing trip.

The Coast Guard called of their search Thursday night for Carlos Amaral, Dylan Amaral, and Mario Fialho, but family members and friends are holding out hope their loved ones will return safe and sound.

The men left Tuesday from Sandwich Marina on a 23-foot boat, saying they’d be back by 2 p.m. When they weren’t back by 7 p.m., a friend called the Coast Guard.

“We don’t like to lose anybody,” said Sandwich boater Doug Dexter. “And it’s really a sad thing for the town of Sandwich that the people have been fishing from since the 1600s.”

“I was kind of shaken up. Stuff like that doesn’t always happen around here,” added boater Danny Dwyer.

The Coast Guard and volunteers searched Cape Cod Bay for two days, covering nearly 4,000 nautical miles.

Dexter said he knows what it’s like to lose someone at sea.

“You want to sit down and maybe cry, because you know how their family is suffering, and their children and their wives and parents and everybody,” he said. “It’s a terrible moment.”

What happened to the three men is a mystery, but it’s clear something went wrong.

“I think there was a problem with the boat,” said Dexter. “I don’t think it was an engine problem, because if it was an engine problem, they’d still be floating out there.”

“It could have been a rogue wave, maybe hit the boat and threw them overboard, or an explosion or something like that, who knows?” added Dwyer.

Regardless of what may have happened, there’s still hope the three men can be found alive.

“There’s always a chance,” said Dexter. “We’re praying for it.”