Coast Guard ends search for missing diver near Folly Beach

d7CHARLESTON, S.C. — The Coast Guard suspended its search Monday evening for a diver who went missing 13 miles southeast of Folly Beach, South Carolina, Saturday afternoon.

Missing is Tristen Allen, 18.

Coast Guardsmen aboard planes, helicopters, boats and cutters saturated the search area, covering more than 2,759 square miles over a 53-hour period, and found no signs of Allen before ending the search at sunset Monday. The area searched is roughly the same size as Charleston, Berkley, and Dorchester counties combined.

This graphic shows the overlay of Coast Guard search and rescue efforts for Tristen Allen, an 18-year-old diver who was reported missing off Folly Beach, S.C., Saturday, July 12, 2014. Coast Guardsmen aboard planes, helicopters, boats and cutters saturated the search area, covering more than 2,759 square miles over a 53-hour period, and found no signs of Allen before ending the search at sunset Monday, July 14, 2014. (U.S. Coast Guard graphic)

This graphic shows the overlay of Coast Guard search and rescue efforts covering more than 2,759 square miles over a 53-hour period. (U.S. Coast Guard graphic)

“This is a heartbreaking time for everyone involved, and we extend our deepest sympathies to Tristen Allen’s family, friends and loved ones,” said Capt. Ric Rodriguez, commander of Coast Guard Sector Charleston. “Decisions to end searches are among the most difficult Coast Guard members are ever forced to make, and are not ones we take lightly.”

The Coast Guard suspends a search and rescue case with extremely great care and deliberation. After a probable search area is saturated several times with a maximum number of assets, resources and crew effort, and persons in distress are still not located, a decision is made to suspend a case.

The Coast Guard can resume a search if credible information is received that persons reported missing have survived.

Involved in the search were:

    Two helicopter crews aboard MH-65 Dolphin helicopters from Coast Guard Air Facility Charleston
    Two helicopter crews aboard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Florida
    Three plane crews aboard a C-130 Hercules plane from Air Station Clearwater
    One plane crew aboard a C-130 Hercules plane from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina
    The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Tarpon, which was recalled from its homeport in Savannah, Georgia
    The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Yellowfin, homported in Charleston
    Four boatcrews aboard a 45-foot Response Boat – Medium from Coast Guard Station Charleston
    Planes, boatcrews and divers from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
    The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office
     Multiple good Samaritans

Allen was diving with his father from a 22-foot Carolina skiff about 13 miles southeast of Folly Beach between 2 and 2:15 p.m., Saturday for a 30-minute dive with a 60-foot maximum depth. He resurfaced when scheduled and was attempting to remove his weight belt when he went underwater again and was not seen resurfacing.

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