Boater got lost in fog off Sullivan's Island, sparked search, hit sandbar, swam to shore

A boater got lost in the fog off Sulilvan's Island Sunday afternoon, setting off a search that ended when he hit a sandbar and swam to shore.

Rescue workers said the man's wife called for help about 2:45 p.m., saying her husband had become disoriented in the fog and they lost phone contact. They said the boat was a 19-foot Key West with one man who was known to fish in the area regularly.

Heavy fog initially hindered efforts to send up a search helicopter. The Coast Guard was finally able to get up a helicopter about 4:15 p.m. over the Intracoastal Waterway, but fog continued to hinder aerial search efforts along the shore. Photos taken on the beach between 5 and 5:30 p.m. showed heavy fog reducing visibility to just a few feet.

The search ended shortly before 6 p.m. when the man hit a sandbar off Dewees Island and swam to shore, according to the Coast Guard. He will be responsible for hiring a company to get his boat off the sandbar, a Coast Guard spokesman said.

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