Crime & Public Safety

Family of teen missing after boat crashes into bridge in Beaufort Co. asks for prayers

This story has been updated here.

The family of the teenager missing in a boat crash since early Sunday has asked for prayers from the community and says they remain hopeful for her safe return as the search for her continued late Sunday afternoon outside the Parris Island gate.

Mallory Beach, 19, went missing around 2 a.m. Sunday when the boat she was in crashed into a bridge near Archers Creek.

Five others were injured in the crash.

S.C. Department of Natural Resources stopped the search at dark on Sunday, Capt. Robert Mcullough said. He said it would resume at 8 a.m. Monday morning.

Beach, the youngest of three sisters, works at the It’s Retail Therapy boutique in Beaufort. She was previously a student at University of South Carolina.

More than 20 family members and friends gathered at the base of the R.C. Berkeley Bridge, awaiting word from search and rescue officials.

“She’s always happy. Everybody loves her, loves being around her,” her sister Savannah Tuten said. “We are still hoping and praying that we find her alive.”

Phillip Beach, their father, said of Mallory: “She is a Christian. She knows the Lord.”

“Not a doubt in my mind that I know that,” Tuten added.

DNR and local agencies are focused on the area where the crash occurred.

Six people were on the boat when it crashed, officials said Sunday.

Five people were taken by EMS for non-life threatening injuries to an area hospital, officials said.

The U.S. Coast Guard is assisting with a 29-foot-response boat from Tybee Island and a rescue helicopter from Savannah air station, Petty Officer, First Class Luke Clayton, said.

Beaufort and Town Of Port Royal Fire Department are the lead agency on the search, Clayton said. Beaufort County Search and Rescue are also assisting.

“It is an all-hands-on-deck situation,” said David Lucas, DNR spokesman.

DNR is the lead investigating agency in the crash, he said.

Burton Fire District and the Beaufort and Town of Port Royal fire departments responded to the call at 2:26 a.m., Burton Lt. Dan Byrne said.

DNR was alerted to the crash at about 2:40 a.m. by the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.

This story will be updated as more information is available.

Access to the R.C. Berkeley Bridge on Parris Island was restricted Sunday afternoon as the search continues for a 19-year-old woman who went missing after a boat crash at 2 a.m. Sunday in Archers Creek. Teresa Moss Staff
Teresa Moss is a crime and public safety reporter for The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette. She has worked as a journalist for 16-years for newspapers in Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas.