Divers, pilots scour local waters for missing boater

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By HEATHER RUPPE

Divers and rescue personnel from across the state have been searching the waters of the Chehaw River for more than four days, looking for a missing boater who was last seen headed to the area to fish.

Just before dusk on Friday night, Nov. 12th, a person called 911 and reported seeing an empty boat in the marsh near the Chehaw Boat Landing with no one near the boat.

Law enforcement officers who responded to the river discovered the boat was not running, but that the throttle was “still engaged,” said Colleton County Fire-Rescue Director Barry McRoy.

Then, multiple law enforcement agencies, including CCFR and the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) put boats into the water and began searching for the missing boater.

Helicopters were also called to the area and helped with the search.

The search continued through Sunday and went into Monday, with divers and pilots using specific search patterns throughout the area, said McRoy.

“A pair of glasses were found that were thought to belong to the boat’s operator,” said McRoy.

A search-command center was established at Chehaw Ladning off of Wiggins Road. According to McRoy, residents brought food, fire wood and water to those officers and rescue personnel looking for the missing boater. “Those efforts were greatly appreciated,” said McRoy.

The search resumed Monday. As of press deadline, he had not been found.

The man’s identity is being withheld, pending an ongoing investigation.

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