Rescue crews continue their search for three fishermen that disappeared off the coast of Georgetown last Thursday. Petty Officer First Class Christopher Evanson gives this update–
South Carolina is one of those states where there is a lot of nooks and crannies in the water, or in the geography of the land. So, we have to conduct a pretty thorough search, but there’s just no speculation as to where these individuals could have gone. We just have to boink at a mass area and hope for the best.
The three boaters, 67-year-old Jim Sanders, 44-year-old Steve Sanders, and 34-year-old Andy Murray, were supposed to return to the dock at South Island Ferry Landing near Georgetown by sunset last Thursday. The search has gone on since that night, with no sign of the men–or a boat.
The Coast Guard does not determine life and death, and that’s an important detail to convey. We are just going to continue to search and if the decision is made to suspend, that decision will be made at the appropriate time, but as of now, that decision has not been made.
As for a timeline, Evanson says every case is different as to when the search is called off.
There are so many factors and variables involved in any search and rescue case. For instance, if you throw a dart at the map of the United States, obviously you would survive longer in the water off the coast of Florida than you would off the coast of Maine in the winter time. Water temperatures, what you wearing, the experience of the boater, did you have survivable equipment, such as a life jacket? Do you have signaling devices? Do you have flares? Do you have a cell phone? Do you have a working VHF radio?
Each day of the search, Evanson says the Coast Guard re-evaluates its most recent efforts in finding the three men. As of now, the search will continue.