Coast Guard calls off search for missing fishermen off Oak Island

WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) - The Coast Guard says it has suspended its week long search for two men whose fishing boat was found capsized off the South Carolina coast.

Coast Guard Rear Admiral Meredith Austin said his agency, the Navy and others searched for 247 hours for Steve Chaney and David Hambrick, who never made it back to port in Oak Island on Aug. 27.

Austin says a Coast Guard C-130 Super Hercules aircraft spotted the men's 22-foot boat Friday about 15 miles east of Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, but there has been no sign of Chaney or Hambrick.

Austin said in a statement the Coast Guard spoke to the Gaston County men's families to tell them they were ending the search.

The U.S. Coast Guard has found a fishing boat belonging to two North Carolina men who have been missing since Sunday.

The Gaston Gazette reports Gaston County residents Steve Chaney and David Hambrick were reported missing after they failed to return from a fishing trip off the coast of Oak Island. Their 22-foot fishing boat was found 15 miles east of Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, hours after the Coast Guard announced the search had expanded south.

Petty Officer 1st Class Luke Clayton said Friday that the boat hadn't capsized, but was just floating in the ocean. Clayton said there were no signs of distress to indicate Hambrick and Chaney were forcibly removed from the boat.

Clayton said the search for the men will continue and would be expanded.


The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for two fishermen who didn't return to land when expected.

Steve Chaney and David Hambrick went out fishing off the coast of Oak Island on a 22-foot boat around 11:30 Sunday morning.

One of the men's wives called for help when the pair did not return by dark as expected.

Due to the approaching tropical system, search crews battled severe conditions with strong winds and rough seas.

As of Monday evening, Station Oak Island boat crews, an MH-60 Jayhawk Helicopter and an HC-130 Hercules airplane were involved in the search.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Coast Guard Sector North Carolina at (910) 343-3880.