Coast Guard Searching For Six Missing Boaters

CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Coast Guard is searching for six people whose vessel was taking on water 600-yards east of the Springmaid Beach Pier in Myrtle Beach, S.C., today.

The crew at Coast Guard Station Georgetown, S.C., received a mayday call via channel 16 on a VHF marine radio last night that reported six people were aboard a 23-foot vessel that was taking on water in the vicinity of the Spring Maid Fishing Pier yesterday at about 10:30 p.m. Coast Guard rescue coordinators lost communication with the vessel shortly after the initial mayday call, and no other information about the vessel is available.

Coast Guard rescue coordinators have launched a rescue helicopter from Air Station Savannah, Ga., to assist in the search. A rescue helicopter searched throughout the night and into early this morning through extreme weather conditions. Crews from Coast Guard Sector Charleston Detached Duty Office Myrtle Beach have been conducting shore side searches throughout the night on ATVs. The S.C. Department of Natural Resources and Horry County Fire Department have also assisted with shore side searches of the area. All of the rescue crews were unable to turn up any signs of distress.

Coast Guard rescue coordinators believe any debris or persons in the water would drift towards the beach and are urging residents in the area to be on the look out for any signs of distress.

Anyone with any information regarding this incident or if they recognize the voice in the mayday call should contact Station Georgetown at 843-546-2471 or Sector Charleston rescue coordinators at 843-724-7616.

Weather in the search area has made searches more dangerous and more difficult for Coast Guard helicopter crews. Weather conditions in the search area are 30-knot sustained winds with six- to-eight foot seas.

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