Coast Guard locates overdue mariners

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CHARLESTON, S.C. — One person is dead and another person was injured after an overdue vessel was located beached at 7 a.m., Monday in the vicinity of Leadenwah Creek, S.C., approximately 18 miles southwest of Charleston.

Dead is Michael Royston, 28, from Edisto Island, S.C.

Injured was Amy Claytor, 32, from Edisto Island, S.C.

Royston was transferred to the Charleston County corner’s office by local EMS. His cause of death is unknown.

Claytor suffered symptoms of hypothermia and shock and was medically evacuated by a Coast Guard Air Station Savannah, Ga., helicopter crew and was transported to Medical University of South Carolina, in Charleston. Claytor’s condition is unknown.

Claytor and Royston were located by Coast Guard Station Charleston crewmembers aboard a 29-foot rescue boat at approximately 7 a.m., near Leadenwah Creek. The crew spotted Claytor waving her arms to flag down the boat crew. Claytor reported Royston had been unresponsive for more than two hours and that she had performed CPR on him prior to the Coast Guard crew’s arrival.

“Our thoughts, prayers and deepest condolences are with the family and friends of Mr. Royston. We are deeply saddened by his loss,” said Lt. Cmdr. Derek Beatty, the Sector Charleston command center search and rescue mission coordinator.

Watchstanders in the Coast Guard Sector Charleston command center were notified of the overdue boaters by the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office at approximately 8:13 p.m., Sunday. The report stated the missing mariners had launched their 14-foot johnboat Saturday night from Steamboat Landing in Edisto, S.C., and had not returned.

Coast Guard crews aboard a 29-foot rescue boat from Station Charleston were launched at 8:24 p.m., Sunday, and a helicopter crew from Savannah was diverted at 8:30 p.m., to assist in the search. Crews from Charleston County Sheriff’s Office searched with two of their vessels. South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and Charleston County Rescue Squad boatcrews also assisted in the search for the two mariners.

South Carolina DNR is investigating the cause of the incident.

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