Sullivan’s Island, S. C. – WCBD – Family and friends are remembering 18-year-old Elijah Weatherspoon, who went overboard while boating in the Cooper River on Thursday night.
His body was recovered Sunday at the Breach Inlet sandbar near Sullivan’s Island, after being spotted by boaters.
It was about 9:30 AM on Sunday when Nicole Morsilli, her husband, and two friends were docked at the sandbar for their Sunday fun-day. They were chatting with another couple about dogs, and everything seemed to be normal.
Morsilli says she never could have prepared for how their day turned out.
“I just hear [her friend] yelling, ‘No! 911 dial 911! Body, there’s a body!’” Morsilli recounted.
She wanted to believe that her friend was joking, or that there had been some mistake. But the severity of the situation soon set in:
“Our intent was to help, but we got there and it was very clear that the person was deceased.”
Morsilli says it took about 20 minutes for the Sullivan’s Island Fire and Rescue to reach them on the sandbar.
“As the tide was rising, his body was starting to like be taken away, so we were trying to convey the sensitivity of time to get, you know, his body recovered,” Morsilli stated.
Morsilli says she can still remember exactly what he was wearing. Although shaken by her own experience, her sympathies and concern lie with Weatherspoon’s family:
“I’m doing better than the family who doesn’t have a son now.”
Weatherspoon’s death is still under investigation by the Department of Natural Resources. It has come under recent scrutiny, with many calling into question details provided by witnesses. DNR says that they are working to get to the bottom of it:
“This is what our investigators do. They investigate on the water and it’s a different world. We run everything to the ground. We run down every lead. We find out what’s going on and if there’s anything to be found we’ll find it,” said DNR Captain Robert McCullough.
As of now, DNR says they are waiting for the autopsy results to further the investigation.
The family has filed a petition for a closer look into the case.