Crews rescue 3 stuck in marsh near Grays Hill

rlurye@islandpacket.comJanuary 8, 2014 

Three people became stranded in the marsh near Sheldon after their boat drifted from the Grays Hill area early Wednesday.

A couple and their friend borrowed a boat and launched from the Grays Hill boat landing at about 4 a.m. to go duck hunting, according to Dick Jennings of the Beaufort Water Search & Rescue Squadron. Finding no ducks, they decided to go to sleep in the boat, he said.

The men and woman, all of Beaufort, "woke up high and dry" a few hours later, Jennings said. The boat had run aground and become stuck in the marsh near Brays Island in Sheldon.

When they got out to push the boat free, they sank into the pluff mud, Jennings said. The woman was covered up to her neck in mud, he said.

At about 8 a.m., the boaters called 911.

Search-and-rescue teams initially had trouble locating the boat, Jennings said. But by 11 a.m., the rescue squad brought the boaters ashore at the private Seabrook Point boat landing.

"They just went out early and anchored in shallow water and didn't realize they were anchoring on top of a mud bar," Jennings said.

No injuries were reported, but one man was treated at the scene for cold exposure, he said.

The boat's owner planned to retrieve the vessel Wednesday afternoon, Jennings said.

The Burton Fire District, the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, Clarendon Plantation and the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office assisted with the rescue.

Staff writer Erin Moody contributed to this report. Follow reporter Rebecca Lurye on Twitter at twitter.com/IPBG_Rebecca.

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