Crews continue search efforts around Brunswick Co. coast for missing boater from North Myrtle Beach

Crews continue search efforts around Brunswick Co. coast for missing boater from North Myrtle Beach
Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 1:14 PM EST
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OAK ISLAND, N.C. (WECT) - Items were found off the coast of Brunswick County that belong to the missing 23-year-old boater last seen in the North Myrtle Beach area during a search on Wednesday morning, Feb. 1.

Oak Island Water Rescue says Boat 4490 and 4492 are taking part in a near-shore search of the Lockwoods Folly Inlet and Oak Island.

“Recently, items belonging to the missing boater from the area of the Little River Jetty, have been found off the coast of Brunswick County. This coordinated search effort includes Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office and NC Marine Fisheries, as well as other local agencies,” said Oak Island Water Rescue in a social media post.

Oak Island Water Rescue Chief Pete Grendze said they are trained for situations like these, and they operate with the hope of bringing the missing man’s family some closure.

“I hope we can find the individual to give closure to the family. Because now they’re just wondering what’s going on or are we ever going to have closure. And you know that’s every one of these situations, whether it’s a boating accident or a drowning if we can’t recover something right away it’s hard for the family to get closure. And that’s what we’re striving to do. I just hope the family gets closure here. I mean, it’s heartbreaking wondering where their loved one is, so we hope they find some peace at some point. ” Grendze said. “Fortunately or unfortunately, we didn’t find anything, so, you just [have to] search and it’s slow and it’s tedious and he may be only a couple inches above the water or just a different coloration than you’re looking for, that’s what you’re taught, trained to look for when you’re out there.”

A South Carolina Department of Natural Resources spokesperson says that air assets are up today from the Brunswick Co. Sheriff’s Office.

“Brunswick County law enforcement boats and Horry County Fire Rescue boats are on the water searching from the beach out to offshore, using sonar scans. SCDNR boats and air assets have each been out today and will continue to do so. City, county, state and federal assets are all searching in SC and NC,” said the SCDNR spokesperson.

According to the Coast Guard, crews responded to a report of a boat taking on water and sinking with two people on board on Thursday, Jan. 26. One of them was found, but the other is still missing.

As of Wednesday, Feb. 1, local, state and federal rescue crews are involved in the search.