A relative of two missing North Carolina fishermen said Thursday that she fears they are the latest in a string of family members to be lost on the water.
Julia Respass, 77, said her 80-year-old brother, Walter Tate, had cheated death once before in the wintry Atlantic, surviving for more than two days in a life raft with other crew members after their boat sank in 1992.
But Respass said she wasn't confident he would be rescued again after hearing a third crew member reported that her brother and nephew, Steven Tate, were in the ship's pilot house when the vessel was struck by a large wave.
"We're losing hope, they didn't have their survival suits on," Respass said in an Associated Press report. "And then, even if they got out of the pilot house, they could have never survived too long in the water."