WILMINGTON, N.C.  — A missing boater from Buxton has been found and is safe, according to the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office.

On Wednesday, the Coast Guard said they were searching the Pamlico Sound for the missing boater after he did not return to shore.

Buxton resident 38-year-old John Hess, was expected to return to shore Tuesday evening.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector North Carolina command center got the call regarding the missing boater from Carteret County Emergency Dispatch around 10:15 a.m. Wednesday.

Officials say Hess took a friend’s 23-foot boat from a private home in Beaufort onto the South River at about 4:30 p.m Tuesday and did not return at night as expected.

The boat’s owner searched for Hess overnight with no results, then alerted authorities.  

A Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City MH-60 Jayhawk Helicopter crew and response boat crews from Coast Guard Station Hatteras Inlet and Coast Guard Station Hobucken are now searching for Hess.

Also assisting in the search are personnel from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, Harkers Island Fire Department, North Carolina Marine Patrol, and the South River-Merrimon Fire Department.

Those with additional information regarding this case should contact the Sector North Carolina command center at (910) 343-3880.