Search resumes for man who might have jumped into Intracoastal Waterway

Horry County Fire Rescue has called of the search for a man who Horry County officials believe may have jumped from a bridge on Highway 17.

North Myrtle Beach officers received several calls on Wednesday night around 8:00 about a man on the peak of the Highway 17 bridge, that spans the Intracoastal Waterway between North Myrtle Beach and Little River.

The callers said he appeared to have a leg over the bridge as if he was going to jump.

When they arrived, officers did see a man standing on the side of the bridge without shoes on. They believe he was between the age of 18 and 25.

Officers went to turn their vehicles around to get to where the man was, and they lost sight of him.

Several vehicles stopped in the south lane and drivers shouted that they had not seen the male jump, but they also did not see him walk off the bridge, according to city of North Myrtle Beach spokesman Patrick Dowling.

North Myrtle Beach officers searched the area on land on both sides of the Waterway.

The operator of a small boat near the Johnny Causey boat landing said he didn't see anyone jump or fall from the bridge.

He then searched the water and didn't find anything.

The Horry County boat/dive team brought out two boats to search the water.

Their search came up empty, and was called off by 10:50 p.m.

The Horry County boat/dive team and the SC Department of Natural Resources personnel have resumed the search as of 9:30 a.m. Thursday morning.

They did not find anything.

Horry County Fire Rescue Marine Coordinator Dan Shankle said a victim is usually found ten feet of where they were last seen entering the water. But, the problem is no one can say for sure where the man was last seen. He explained the colder the water, the longer a body will stay down.

"Typically when somebody drowns, they end up going down and staying down for several hours or several days, depends on the water temperature," he said.

Neither the North Myrtle Beach Public Safety Department or the Horry County Police Department have received a missing person report.