Coast Guard search for two missing fishermen

The Coast Guard provided this picture of a boat found overturned about 10 miles east of Bulls Bay. Two fisherman who were last seen aboard the vessel are still missing. (Provided)

Coast Guard search crews found an overturned, unmanned boat belonging to two fishermen who are still missing, according to officials.

The vessel was found about 10 miles east of Bulls Bay. The missing boaters are Joseph McFadden, 77, and Michael Lawrence, 61, both of North Charleston. Both were last seen fishing aboard the 18-foot bass boat near the Charleston jetties.

Coast Guard Sector Charleston was notified of the overdue boaters about 10:30 a.m. Thursday by Charleston County Consolidated Dispatch. The initial report said the two left for a fishing trip Wednesday morning and were scheduled to return that night. The report also said their truck and trailer were still at the pier Thursday.

A 45-foot response boat from Coast Guard Station Charleston was launched to search for the missing men, along with the 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Yellowfin, from Charleston, and an RBM crew from Coast Guard Station Georgetown.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from the Coast Guard Air Facility in Charleston was also diverted to assist in the search, along with an HC-130 Hercules airplane from the Coast Guard Air Station in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.

Other agencies involved 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.

Reach Melissa Boughton at 937-5594.