VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The U.S. Coast Guard has found two 65-year-olds from Virginia Beach safe 80 miles off the coast of Chincoteague after they were reported overdue earlier this week from a sailing trip to Portugal.

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The Coast Guard says Yanni Nikopoulos and Dale Jones reported they were struck by lightning after sailing through inclement weather during their trip but said they were not in distress, “appeared to be in good health” and didn’t need assistance from the Coast Guard. They contacted watchstanders on Friday and said they were headed to Hampton.

The Coast Guard says the pair were able to rig a spare sail after their boat was hit in the lightning strike.

“We are extremely happy to learn Yanni and Dale are found and are safe,” said James Cifers, operations unit watchstander in the Fifth District Command Center. “It is truly wonderful the pair will be reunited with their friends and family soon.”

Nikopoulos and Jones were set to return to Hampton on Monday from their trip to the Azores region in Portugal, but never returned.

Coast Guard Fifth District command center watchstanders were first notified about the couple back on June 17. Jones’ daughter said she hadn’t received any communication from her mother since they left and was concerned for their well-being.

The two left Hampton on June 8 on the 36-foot sailboat Kyklades, headed to the Azores.

The Coast Guard was searching a wide swath in the Atlantic for the couple, tracking cell phone and radio pings with counterparts in Bermuda to try to narrow their search.

This is a breaking update. Check back for more information.

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