Coast Guard, good Samaritan locate missing boaters off South Carolina coast

7th Coast Guard District NewsCHARLESTON, S.C. – The Coast Guard and a good Samaritan located two overdue boaters missing for more than 24 hours approximately seven miles east of Saint Catherine’s Sound, S.C., Monday.

Rescued were Ricky Dukes, Jr., 29, and Bailey Merrell, 21.

Search and rescue controllers at Coast Guard Sector Charleston were notified by family members at about 2:10 p.m., Monday regarding the whereabouts of the boaters. The last known communications between the family and the boaters occured 4 p.m., Sunday.

The good Samaritan fishing vessel Daddy’s Boy, homeported in Fernadina Beach, Fla., located the two missing boaters tied to the Saint Catherine’s Sea buoy about 8:30 p.m., Monday, approximately seven miles east of Saint Catherine’s Sound.

The rescued boaters were transferred to the crew of the Charleston based 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Yellowfin and transported ashore. No injuries were reported.

A Coast Guard Air Station Savannah, Ga., MH-65 Dolphin helicopter rescue crew, Coast Guard Station Brunswick, Ga., response boat crew, Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the McIntosh County Sheriff’s office assisted with the search.

The Coast Guard reminds all boaters to file a float plan before departing offshore. A float plan is an effective tool for the owner of a 10-foot kayak or flat-bottom skiff as it is for a 48-foot express cruiser, or a 90 foot sport-fishing vessel or luxury yacht.

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