COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – The search for a missing boater is expected to resume Monday near the Chehaw River in the southern portion of Colleton County.
Several agencies responded to Wiggins Road near Tilly Island late Friday evening after another boater reported seeing an empty boat in the marsh with no one around just before dusk.
Law enforcement found the boat was not running, but the throttle was still engaged.
Colleton County Fire Rescue, Colleton County Sheriff’s Office, and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources began searching the surrounding area north and south of the Chehaw River for over five hours.
Some family members were eventually located, thanks to help from 9-1-1 operators, who were able to verify the occupant of the boat.
“Searchers used lighting, thermal imaging equipment, and side-scanning sonar during their search,” said officials with Colleton County Fire Rescue.
The Coast Guard also provided a helicopter in the search for the missing boater, and SCDNR used one of its planes to fly search patterns in the area.
Officials said no one was found Friday evening, and crews returned on both Saturday and Sunday to continue their search.
DNR placed drivers in different locations over the weekend while other agencies patrolled the river and adjacent canals.
“A pair of glasses were found that were thought to belong to the boat’s operator,” fire-rescue officials said.
Fire-Rescue officials said a portion of Tilly Island and several smaller islands in the area were searched by foot.