HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — 63-year-old Christopher Martin Young’s 20-foot center console Boston Whaler washed ashore near Factory Point, north of Grandview Beach in Hampton.

The boat was found by a person walking the beach around 8 a.m. on Saturday.

“As we responded to the vessel we found the engine still in gear,” said Virginia Marine Police Spokesperson Officer Zach Widgeon. “It looked like it had been occupied, but it was no longer occupied, and it was not occupied as it went aground.

“We know at some point between Annapolis and Hampton, the occupant was separated from the vessel. As far as where that was and the circumstances surrounding that, we have not come to that conclusion yet, Widgeon added. 

Officer Widgeon says Young’s family has no idea what happened, but his 7 p.m. departure was not unusual 

“They didn’t think it was unusual at the time so nothing about that causes us to be suspicious of his departing at that time.” 

Cell phone data has been useful in connecting some of the dots, Widgeon told 10 On Your Side.  

“Between his onboard GPS, and cell phone software, we can tell where the vessel was at certain points.” 

There was an immediate search off Factory Point in the bay after the boat was found, but only regular patrols kept a watchful ever since.

“The search area is so massive of 1,000 square miles from the Maryland line to Hampton that having a localized search area isn’t feasible at this point,” Widgeon added. 

“What happened between Factory point and Grandview Beach, we don’t know. The captain could have fallen overboard if he didn’t have a quick disconnect on his motors,” said Bell Isle Marina owner, Marty Bell. “He didn’t have a personal locater beacon, no EPIRB on the boat. He didn’t have any way of signaling for help from the Coast Guard.”