Crews resume search for man at Stono River marina

Rescuers and law enforcement officers returned Friday morning to the St. Johns Yacht Harbor, where they continued to a search for Charles Dale Fernell, who lives and works at the marina and has not been seen since late Wednesday.

Rescuers and law enforcement officers returned this morning to the St. Johns Yacht Harbor, where they continue to a search for an employee and resident of the marina there.

Charles Dale Fernell, 54, who lives on a boat and is regarded as a valued employee at the Maybank Highway marina, was last seen by his son between 10 and 11 p.m. Wednesday. His vehicle remains parked outside the club on the bank of the Stono River.

Divers and other searchers gathered again outside the Stono Breeze restaurant. Agencies involved are the Charleston Harbor Patrol, Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, S.C. Department of Natural Resources, the Charleston County Rescue Squad and the Coast Guard.

Nothing turned up during their efforts Thursday.

Speculation that he might have fallen into the water caused the Coast Guard and Charleston city and county authorities to use boats, a helicopter and divers to search waters and under vessels docked at the marina.

Fernell is described as about 170 pounds and was last seen wearing a long-sleeve blue polo shirt with the sleeves rolled up, greenish khaki shorts and Sperry shoes.

Anyone with information about him can call the police at 577-7434.

Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or

Andrew Knapp is editor of the quick response team, which covers crime, courts and breaking news. He previously worked as a reporter and copy editor at Florida Today, Newsday and Bangor (Maine) Daily News. He enjoys golf, weather and fatherhood.