PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - The Coast Guard confirms its search for Hung Nguyen has ended. Rescue teams scoured the Gulf of Mexico, but they were unable to find the Pass Christian man's body. According to reports, Nguyen disappeared from his dive boat a week ago, and never surfaced.
The end of the search was a devastating blow to the Nguyen family. For days, it was family, faith and a cell phone that kept his fiancee going.
Her name is Loan Hoang. She's been clutching her phone, praying it would ring with more encouraging news about the love of her life. When it rang on Friday, Hoang learned the shocking news her fiancee disappeared somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico. "They said there's anywhere from 30 to 40 people on the boat and they looked on the boat from top to bottom and they couldn't locate him on the boat," said Hoang.
Hoang huddled with family members since receiving the chilling phone call. Nguyen's mother is a devout Buddhist and has dedicated much of the past 72 hours to prayer.
His fiancee said on Monday the family was trying to keep hope alive. "Hopefully he's asleep somewhere on the boat, and he's going to pop up," Hoang said.
Her hope was the glittering engagement ring on her finger would be replaced by a wedding ring. As she prayed for his safe return, Hoang often sobbed, worried this bad dream would destroy the future they planned together. "You hear about it happening, but you never think it will happen to you," said Hoang.
She described him as a funny, family man with a big heart. They grew up together on the coast. Over that time, it became obvious to everyone Nguyen has always loved the water. "Coast Guard told us they are still looking for him and they will continue looking for him tomorrow or at least until they see fit," said Hoang.
That search ended at noon on Thursday. It ended without search teams finding Hung Nguyen's body.