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Georgetown Sheriff's Office says it has 'area of interest' in search for two missing boaters

  • Updated
The Coast Guard (copy)

A Coast Guard helicopter. File/Brad Nettles/Staff

The Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office announced early Monday afternoon that it had identified an “area of interest” in the ongoing search for two boaters that were reported missing at 10:30 p.m. Saturday night.

Alongside the U.S. Coast Guard, the Sheriff’s Office has been looking for both Marquis Michael and Kinley Johnson, who were last seen on a 13.5-foot Jon boat with one silver outboard motor near Sampit River.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, the area in the river will now be cordoned off as they await divers from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources to provide the inspection.

The boat ramps at Carroll Campbell Marina are temporarily closed in order to secure the area, although people who launched boats earlier today will be allowed to remove them, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The search has been handled by the Coast Guard, Sheriff’s Office and DNR since a family member reached out Saturday night indicating that two men were well past due in returning from a boat trip near Winyah Bay.

The Coast Guard described one male as black, 6-foot-2 and 240 pounds last seen wearing a white shirt, black shorts and has dreadlocks.

The other male is 5-foot-8, 160 pounds and last seen wearing a white hat and orange life jacket.

Both are described as near 33 years old.

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According to the family member, the men intended to be on the water for just a few hours, departing from the Carol Ashmore Campbell Marina in Georgetown.

The Coast Guard Section Charleston is asking for those with information to call (843) 740-7050.

The Coast Guard has utilized the following in the search:

  • Air Station Elizabeth City C-130J Hercules aircrew
  • Two HH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrews from Air Station Savannah
  •  A 45-foot Response Boat—Medium and 29-foot Response Boat—Small crews from Station Georgetown

The Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office has deployed side-scan sonar in the bay in an effort to find Michael and Johnson, as well as the lost vessel.

This is a developing story, please check back for updates.

Reach Nick Masuda at 843-607-0912. Follow him on Twitter at @nickmasudaphoto. 

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