After combing 1,636 square miles of South Carolina waters for more than 36 hours, authorities on Friday morning discovered the body of a missing crabber bobbing near a Coast Guard Sector Charleston pier.
North Charleston resident Terrance Singleton, 30, had been declared missing since Wednesday, after the Coast Guard cutter Cormorant came upon his 20-foot Pro-Line boat, its motor on idle, with only some crabs, a bit of live bait and a single shoe in it.
Rescuers believe he fell overboard and currents eventually guided his body across Charleston Harbor to the Ashley River and the Coast Guard station.
Forty-two search and rescue crews had spent 36 hours looking for him.
“While the response was immediate and involved multiple federal, state and local agencies, we were ultimately unable to rescue Mr. Singleton,” said Coast Guard Sector Charleston commander Capt. John Reed in a prepared statement.
“As search and rescue professionals, we want every search to have a positive outcome. This is a difficult time and our condolences go out to family and friends dealing with this heartbreaking loss.”
Wildlife investigators from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources are spearheading the probe into Singleton’s death.
After discovering the unoccupied boat, Coast Guard Air Facility Charleston scrambled an MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter. It was joined in the air by a Charleston County Sheriff’s Office helicopter.
They were assisted on the sea and shore by the police and fire departments in Charleston and North Charleston, the Mount Pleasant Police Department and the state Department of Natural Resources, plus the Cormorant and citizen volunteers from the Coast Guard Auxiliary.