Beaufort boat theft prompts air, land and water chase

BEAUFORT, S.C. (AP) - Two men have been arrested after officials searched on land, from the air and in the water for a stolen 33-foot boat in Jasper County.

The Beaufort Gazette reported someone took the boat, a pickup truck and a trailer Sunday morning.

National Resources Department Sgt. Michael Thomas says officials think the thieves launched the boat in the Broad River.

U.S. Coast Guard officials in Charleston say they received an emergency beacon from the boat and called the owner, who reported it was stolen. The Coast Guard launched a helicopter and small boat.

The chopper and DNR boat crews spotted the stolen boat and forced it ashore.

Beaufort County Sheriff's Capt. Thomas Smith says the men ran into some woods and were caught a short time later. Charges were pending.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.