Search for overdue boaters continues off South Carolina

LOS ANGELES - A MH-65C Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Los Angeles conducts flight training just off the coast of San Pedro, Calif., March 18, 2012. Coast Guard aircrew members must constantly train together to keep their life saving skills sharp for the next mayday call. U.S. Coast Guard photograph by Petty Officer 1st Class Adam EggersCHARLESTON, S.C. — The Coast Guard continues to search for two overdue boaters, Friday, approximately 35 miles off northeast South Carolina.

Missing are Joseph McFadden, 77 years old, and Michael Lawrence, 61 years old.

As of Friday at 12 p.m., search crews have covered an area of approximately 6,000 square miles over a period of 27 hours and have completed 23 search patterns. Crews aboard the 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Yellowfin, an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and an HC-130 Hercules airplane will search throughout Friday.

A Coast Guard Auxiliary airplane, along with a South Carolina Department of Natural Resources airplane, searched Friday morning.

The Cutter Yellowfin searched throughout Thursday night along with various aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., Coast Guard Air Facility Charleston, and Coast Guard Air Station Savannah, Ga. A South Carolina DNR airplane also searched throughout the night.

Charleston County Consolidated Dispatch first notified Coast Guard Sector Charleston’s command center of the overdue boaters Thursday morning. The missing boaters had reportedly departed on a fishing trip, in the vicinity of the Charleston Jetties, Wednesday morning and were scheduled to return Wednesday evening. By Thursday the pair was overdue and their truck and trailer were found still parked at the pier at Remleys Point, S.C.

A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium from Coast Guard Station Charleston was launched to search, along with the Cutter Yellowfin, from Charleston, and an RBM crew from Coast Guard Station Georgetown, S.C., Thursday.

A Dolphin helicopter from Air Facility Charleston was also diverted to assist in the search, along with a Hercules airplane from Air Station Elizabeth City.

Other agencies involved in the search include crews from the North Charleston Police Department, Mount Pleasant Police Department, Charleston County Sheriff’s Office and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

Anyone with any information that could assist search crews are urged to contact the Coast Guard Sector Charleston command center at: 843-740-7050.

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