Coast Guard suspends search for missing boaters 1 mile northeast of Tybee Island

CHARLESTON, S.C. — The Coast Guard suspended their search at approximately 8:20 p.m. Friday for three missing boaters one mile northeast of Tybee Island.

“Suspending a case is never an easy decision, nor is it a decision that is hastily made,” said Captain Gary Tomasulo, Commander, Coast Guard Sector Charleston. “We remain ready to reinstitute a search if new information becomes available.”

The following Coast Guard assets covered more than 1800 square miles over 72 hours searching for the missing boaters:

  • Coast Guard Station Tybee Island 45-foot Response Boat – Medium boat crews
  • Coast Guard Air Station Savannah MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews
  • Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews
  • Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater HC-130 Hercules airplane crews
  • Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City HC-130 Hercules airplane crews
  • Coast Guard Cutter Chinook crew
  • Coast Guard Cutter Ridley crew
  • Coast Guard Auxiliary members

Georgia and South Carolina Department of Natural Resources also assisted with search efforts.

Coast Guard Sector Charleston Command Center watchstanders were notified by the 7th District Command Center at 6:22 p.m., Tuesday, of an emergency position indicating radio beacon activation registered to the 47-foot fishing vessel, Miss Debbie.

A Coast Guard Station Tybee Island 45-foot Response Boat – Medium boatcrew launched at 7:35 p.m. The RB-M boatcrew arrived on scene at 7:48 and discovered the Miss Debbie capsized and began a search for crew members.

The Coast Guard Cutter Ridley is an 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Mayport, Florida. The Coast Guard Cutter Chinook is an 87-foot patrol boat homported in Tybee Island, Georgia.

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