MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.(WBTW) – Emergency crews searched throughout the day Thursday to search for a missing 12-year-old Darlington boy who was last seen Wednesday afternoon in the water off the Myrtle Beach coast.
There search team implemented drones in the search to help cover more ground.
Nick Jackson helped look for the young boy all day Wednesday and Thursday, and he says in searches like this one, the drones help to get eyes in the sky when a helicopter can’t be there.
“To have this thing up in the air in five to ten minutes directly after the incident when sometimes it takes an hour for a Coast Guard helicopter to get here, you know, it’s critical,” said Jackson.RELATED:SC teenage swimmer pulled from ocean in Myrtle Beach dies
Those critical moments continue on day two of the search when crew members say their point of references may change.
“In code x situations, the victim will surface for a split second. If we have a drone to capture that, we at least have a new point of where they were last seen,” said Jonathan Krause, a lifeguard in Myrtle Beach.
According to Joey Crosby of the City of Myrtle Beach, the use of watercraft was suspended for the day around 4 p.m.Thursday but officers will continue to stay on the beach for the rest of the day and night.
Crosby also said crews were working to evaluate resources, and other factors like weather conditions to develop a plan of action for Friday.
“The last thing you want is an empty casket. You want to find them, you want closure. I can’t even imagine what’s going through the family’s mind right now. I mean, to come down on vacation to a beautiful place like Myrtle Beach and to lose one of your loved ones, I feel for them, you know,” said Krause.
On Wednesday, the Myrtle Beach Fire Department was dispatched to 42nd Avenue around 4:15 p.m. for a report of distressed swimmers. When they arrived on scene, CPR was being administered to one person.
According Crosby, one of the swimmers, a female, was treated on the scene. The second swimmer, a male, was pulled from the ocean by lifeguards and people on the beach. After he was rescued, CPR was administered and he was taken to the hospital, Crosby said.
The third swimmer was a 12-year-old boy and he is still missing. All three are related and are Darlington County residents.
Battalion Chief Bruce Arnel said crews were using jet skis to search for the person still missing in the water Wednesday. Crosby added people on the beach made a human chain to assist rescue efforts and the US Coast Guard was on scene scanning the area with a helicopter.