CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Coast Guard suspended the search Sunday night for two missing fisherman three days after their overturned boat was discovered.
Joseph McFadden, 77; and Michael Lawrence, 61, reportedly departed for a fishing trip Wednesday morning and were scheduled to return Wednesday evening, according to Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class Anthony Soto.
"Suspending a search is a truly difficult decision," Capt. Gary Tomasulo, commanding officer of Coast Guard Sector Charleston, said. "We pride ourselves in rescuing survivors to reunite them with their loved ones. We take into account various different factors when making this decision, so it is never one that is made easily. Our search is suspended, pending any new and reliable information. We understand this is a difficult time for the families and we offer our thoughts and prayers to them."
Coast Guard crews searched 11,655 square miles and conducted 50 search pattern over a period of more than three days, Soto said.
They were last seen in an 18-foot bass boat in the vicinity of the Charleston Jetties. Crews found an overturned 18-foot bass boat about 10 miles east of Bulls Bay Thursday.
Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Charleston command center were notified of the overdue boaters at approximately 10:30 a.m. Thursday by Charleston County dispatchers. The initial report stated their truck and trailer were still at the pier at Remleys Point.
Crew members from Coast Guard Station Charleston and Coast Guard Section Georgetown searched from the air and water. Units from Coast Guard Air Station Savannah, Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., and Air Station Clearwater, Fla. also assisted, along with crews from the North Charleston and Mount Pleasant Police Departments, the Charleston County Sheriff's Office and the 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.