Body of missing Darlington boater found by search crews - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

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Body of missing Darlington boater found by search crews

West Florence Fire Department assisted with the search. Firefighters Miller and Springs are pictured on board WFFD's small rescue boat. (Source: Dustin Fails) West Florence Fire Department assisted with the search. Firefighters Miller and Springs are pictured on board WFFD's small rescue boat. (Source: Dustin Fails)
On Monday, the Darlington County Sheriff's Office recovered the body of Stephen Ashley Murray, 49, who went missing in the Great Pee Dee River Saturday. (Source: DCSO) On Monday, the Darlington County Sheriff's Office recovered the body of Stephen Ashley Murray, 49, who went missing in the Great Pee Dee River Saturday. (Source: DCSO)

DARLINGTON COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The body of a boater who went missing Saturday was located along the Great Pee Dee River Monday morning.

Family members said after a nearly two day search, they are grateful to have some type of closure, but are heartbroken because of their loss.

"He loved to fish, they were not big river fishers, and it was rare for them to go out in the boat," Robyn Becham said.

Robyn Beacham is the step-daughter of 49-year-old Stephen Murray, the man Darlington County's Coroner said was found dead Monday morning along the banks of the Great Pee Dee River.

On Saturday, Murray and his son were out fishing on the Great Pee Dee River, about one mile up from Cashua Ferry Landing.

"They were down here fishing hit something in the river and it threw both of them out," Becham said

Investigators said when the two men were thrown from the boat Murray's son was able to swim to safety, but from some reason Murray was unable too.

"I came yesterday when I first found out that they had not made it home. My husband and I came and put our boat in and we searched we could not find anything," Becham said

"DNR was doing a river check this morning and they found the body," Chief Thomas Spivey with the Palmetto Rural Fire Department said.

Investigators said Murray was about 50 yards away from the scene of the accident where the Department of Natural Resources found Murray's body floating along the river bank.

Family members tell us that neither Murray nor his son was wearing a life jacket during their fishing trip and they wanted to share this message.

"It's just a tragic accident. If you go fishing wear your life jacket, don't make the mistake and think that you know the waters because you don't. I mean nobody expects to go fishing and never make it back home to their families," Becham said.

An autopsy has been scheduled for Tuesday morning in Newberry, SC, according to Darlington County Coroner Todd Hardee. 

This incident remains under investigation by the Darlington County Coroner's Office, Darlington County Sheriff's Office, Darlington Fire and Rescue and by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. 

Copyright 2014 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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