Crime & Public Safety

SC teen missing 3 days after Beaufort Co. boat crash. Here’s the latest on the search

Search for missing teen boater on Parris Island continues

S.C. Department of Natural Resources and local agencies are searching for a female boater who went missing after the boat she was on crashed into a bridge early Sunday morning.
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S.C. Department of Natural Resources and local agencies are searching for a female boater who went missing after the boat she was on crashed into a bridge early Sunday morning.

A helicopter continued to whir over the creeks near Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island on Wednesday as search teams continued to look for a teenager who went overboard when a boat crashed into a bridge Sunday.

S.C. Department of Natural Resources divers continue to seaarch an area of Archers Creek near a causeway leading to the gate of Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, an agency spokesman said Wednesday. Six people were aboard a 17-foot boat when crashed into a bridge piling early Sunday morning, and 19-year-old Mallory Beach remains missing.

Along the causeway to Parris Island, Beach’s family members and friends continued to wait for word as boats worked in the nearby water and aircraft buzzed overhead.

“We’re going to be there until we find her,” DNR Capt. Robert McCullough said.

Boats are also still part of the search, he said.

DNR is still investigating the crash, McCullough said. He said Tuesday investigators are still determining who was driving the boat and whether alcohol was a factor.

Investigators didn’t conduct sobriety tests on the boat’s occupants because it wasn’t clear who was driving, McCullough said.

The 17-foot Sea Hunt boat that crashed is registered to Alexander Murdaugh of Islandton, McCullough said. He said he didn’t know if investigators had talked to Murdaugh but that it would be standard procedure.

Beach’s boyfriend, Anthony Cook, said this week the boat was returning from an oyster roast and had stopped in downtown Beaufort before the boat crashed on the return trip at about 2 a.m.

Beach was thrown overboard in the crash. Five others went to the hospital.

Murky water and the large area makes divers task time-consuming, McCullough said.

“It’s not like walking through a room and clearing it, you’ve literally got to go down and touch every part of the bottom because of (low) visibility,” he said.

Stephen Fastenau covers northern Beaufort County as a reporter for The Beaufort Gazette and The Island Packet, where he has worked since 2010 and been recognized with state and national awards. He studied journalism and political science at the University of South Carolina in Columbia and lives in Beaufort.


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