Agencies scale back search efforts for missing South Carolina boater

Over the past couple of weeks both Sunset Beach and Holden Beach police departments have had officers monitoring the ocean front.
Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 7:29 PM EST
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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - Search efforts are moving further north as South Carolina boater and duck hunter Tyler Doyle has been missing for nearly two weeks.

“We’ve been continually on the beach watching for anything that might wash ashore,” said Sunset Beach Police Chief Ken Klamar. “We’re looking for anything in the water that could be suspicious or concerning.”

Sunset Beach resident Christina Holbert first heard of Doyle’s disappearance two weeks ago.

“I saw helicopters in the air, boats in the water,” said Holbert. “I thought they were giving helicopter rides and learned later that it was a search effort for this young man.”

The 22-year-old disappeared after his boat started taking on water near North Myrtle Beach. Since then, the search has moved to North Carolina.

Countless volunteers have joined in on the effort.

“I was telling everybody I was going to go out and try to find something but there’s nothing,” said Sharon Schiavi.

Holbert says she met Doyle’s loved ones on the beach the day she saw the helicopter.

“The wife kept saying to me ‘he’s strong, he’s strong, I know we’re going to find him,’ and God bless her for having that hope,” said Holbert.

After two weeks with no sign of Doyle, the police department is scaling back its effort.

“Once time went on and we passed the 10-day mark, we scaled back our efforts,” said Klamar. “We noticed that the search seemed to be moving up the coast and we stopped going out there as frequently as we have been.”

Similarly, Holden Beach police have also cut back on their patrols along the oceanfront as the search moves north. Still, both police departments say they’re on the lookout for suspicious items or people in distress.

The Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol Unit is assisting South Carolina DNR, patrolling waters to look out for Doyle or any of his belongings. The Wisconsin-based nonprofit Wings of Hope Search and Rescue has also joined the search.