Search for 3 missing boaters continues off Tybee Island

TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) – The Coast Guard continues to search the waters off Tybee Island for the crew of a boat that capsized during a violent storm that spawned tornadoes Tuesday evening.

Commander Marshall Branch, with the Coast Guard’s Airbase Savannah, says all available resources are working this case.

“Our crews have been flying all night long they’re continuing to fly today and they’re gonna keep searching,” Marshall said.

The search for the crew of the Miss Debbie, a 47-foot fishing boat out of North Carolina, started around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday evening, after tornadoes, touched down on Wilmington Island and Fort Pulaski, before moving out to sea off Tybee Island, in the general vicinity of where Miss Debbie go into trouble.

When the first rescue helicopter arrived, the Miss Debbie was capsized, it’s life raft deployed, but there was no sign of the three-man crew.

In the midst of that search, another call for help leads to this rescue at sea captured on tape.

The 80 foot Gracie Bell, a fishing boat, began floundering off the coast of South Carolina due to mast damage.

Commander Branch says the coast guard successfully rescued all four crewmen before the ship capsized.

“It is the most amazing feeling when you can visibly see that you’ve made a difference in somebody’s life and I think there’s no greater difference you can make than to save someone’s life, someone who is in trouble, someone who needs help right now. That’s a great feeling when you know you were able to make a difference.” Branch said.

The rescued fishermen were taken to a Savannah hospital as a precaution, but no injuries are reported.

The search for the crew of Miss Debbie is continuing, but none of the crew has been located at this time.

 

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