4 South Carolina boaters safe after being ejected from bass boat

Southeastern Coast Guard NewsCHARLESTON, S.C. — Four South Carolina boaters are safe after being ejected from their vessel, prompting a Coast Guard rescue, during an accident in the Wando River in Charleston early Friday morning.

The boaters are: McGuire Keenan, 25, of Columbia, S.C.; Andrew Yarborough, 25, of Walterboro, S.C.; Elise Mayberry, 19, of Walterboro, S.C.; and Wayne Taylor, 27, of Mount Pleasant, S.C.

They reported they were transiting through the Wando River on a 21-foot bass boat when the vessel struck an unknown object near the Remley’s Point channel marker, and all four people were ejected. None of them were wearing life jackets. The bass boat stopped on shore on Drum Island, near Charleston, several feet past the waterline.

Three of the people swam to the channel marker and held on to wait for assistance. The fourth swam to shore and used the boat’s VHF-FM marine radio to call for help.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Charleston responded to the distress call about 12:30 a.m. and immediately directed a Coast Guard Station Charleston boatcrew to launch aboard a 25-foot Response Boat – Small. The Coast Guardsmen arrived on scene roughly 30 minutes later, brought all four people aboard the RB-S and took them to Remley’s Point public boat landing in Mount Pleasant, S.C., where emergency medical technicians were waiting.

Three of the boaters declined medical treatment. EMTs treated the fourth person, who had several lacerations on his foot, on scene and released him.

“This accident showcases exactly why we encourage boaters to wear their life jackets at all times and to equip their vessels with a VHF-FM marine radio,” said Lt. Timothy McNamara, Sector Charleston command duty officer. “Most accidents happen without warning, leaving little to no time to put on a life jacket before going in the water. And most cell phones are un-useable after they get wet, so a marine radio should always be available as a primary means of distress communication.”

Keenan said he plans to recover the boat from Drum Island Saturday.

Personnel from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources are planning to investigate the accident.

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