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      Search for missing boater, suspended

      Photo from the search this morning sent to by a viewer. / Reed Worrell

      The search by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and the Georgetown County Sheriff's Office for missing boater Harvey Cox was suspended late Wednesday afternoon.

      The Coast Guard suspended its search Wednesday morning.

      Russell Goodale, the public information officer for the Georgetown County Sheriff's Office, said, "What this is doing is giving us a chance to step back, talk to friends, family members, try to find out some other locations he may have been prior to coming here, and see if we can narrow the search area down a little bit."

      Officials are considering the possibility that Cox could have been the victim of a crime. They're not ruling anything out at this point.

      Cox's boat was found in the grass about one mile north of the Murrells Inlet Public Boat Landing. His Toyota truck and boat trailer were also found at the landing.

      Deputy Goodale stressed the importance of safety when anyone heads out into the water. "Let somebody know where you're at. Let them know exactly the area you're going to be in. And if you decide to deviate from that area, let somebody know. Make sure you have all your safety equipment in the boat."

      Goodale said those close to Cox knew he was going boating.


      Earlier story:

      Coast Guard suspends search for missing boater, others continue

      The Department of Natural Resources tells NewsChannel 15 it is still in the process of trying to contact the missing boaters family.

      Officers say they resumed the search at 7 a.m. Wednesday, focusing on ariel surveillance.

      Some duck hunters found the boat Tuesday stalled in the grass about one mile from the boat landing in the Mt. Gilead community.


      The Coast Guard suspended its search for a missing boater in Murrells Inlet Wednesday.

      The Department of Natural Resources says it still has one boat in the water. Georgetown County Sheriff's Office also has a boat in the water. DNR Sgt. Ryan Williams says they're relying on the fixed-wing aircraft because they can see a farther distance.


      A Coast Guard helicopter is back in the air as the search for a missing boater from Florence picked back up Wednesday morning in Murrells Inlet.

      Steve Pop, with the state Department of Natural Resources, says a DNR aircraft is also on the way from Columbia to help in the search. Several boats are in the water searching in the foggy and misty conditions.

      A boat, belonging to Harvey Cox, 58, of Florence, was found unmanned in the ocean Tuesday morning. His wallet and keys were in the boat. Cox's car and a trailer for the 12-foot Jon boat were also found at the public boat landing in Murrells Inlet.

      The search lasted throughout the day Tuesday but was called off at 7 p.m.

      The last time Cox was seen was at 6:15 p.m. Monday, and he hasn't contacted any of his family.