Missing N.C. Man's Boat Washes Ashore in Portugal 7 Months After His Disappearance, Police Say

Joseph Matthew Johnson, 44, was reported missing on Nov. 27, 2021, and was last seen five days prior, according to authorities

Missing N.C. Man’s Boat Washes Ashore in Portugal Seven Months After His Disappearance. NamUs
Photo: NamUs

The boat belonging to a missing man from North Carolina has washed ashore in Portugal, according to authorities.

The Carolina Beach Police Department said it was contacted by authorities from São Jorge Island in Azores on Friday regarding a boat believed to belong to Joseph Matthew Johnson, 44, who was reported missing on Nov. 27, 2021.

The boat's hull number matched the number belonging to a 2006 Clearwater boat registered to Johnson, who has yet to be located, according to a news release shared Monday.

Portuguese authorities are currently assisting the CBPD in their search for evidence and information as they attempt to locate the missing boater.

The CPBD did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Johnson was last seen seven months ago on Nov. 22, 2021 in surveillance footage from the Federal Point Yacht Club, according to a missing person bulletin from the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs).

The clip allegedly shows the Carolina Beach man leaving the club alone in his 19-foot 2006 Marine Clearwater 1900CC center console boat around 11 a.m. that Monday, just three days before Thanksgiving.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free weekly newsletter to get the biggest news of the week delivered to your inbox every Friday.

Missing N.C. Man’s Boat Washes Ashore in Portugal Seven Months After His Disappearance. NamUs

Johnson's cell phone was last pinged off of Bald Head Island, North Carolina just after 5:15 p.m. that same day, per the bulletin.

The Carolina Beach man was reported missing on Nov. 27 when he did not show up for a fishing trip he'd previously planned with his friend, according to the Wilmington StarNews.

The U.S. Coast Guard covered nearly 7,500 square miles in over 53 hours while searching for Johnson in November following his reported disappearance, per the report. The search was ultimately suspended.

Portuguese authorities used the NamUs database to contact the CBPD about their discovery, according to Monday's news release.

The CBPD thanked NamUs for "their continued involvement in trying to locate Mr. Johnson" over the last several months.

An investigation into Johnson's disappearance is ongoing. Anyone with information about Johnson is asked to contact 911 or the CBPD at (910) 458-2540.

Related Articles