Officials search for missing boater on Lake Wateree

Published: Jul. 22, 2019 at 11:43 PM EDT
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LAKE WATEREE, S.C. (WIS) - First thing Tuesday morning, first responders will be back on Lake Wateree searching for a missing boater. The 22-year-old woman jumped off a pontoon last night and never came back up.

The search wrapped up around 9:30 p.m. Monday. Officials from the Department of Natural Resources received a call around 8:40 p.m. Sunday about a woman who was on a drifting pontoon with her friends when she jumped off and never resurfaced.

That search started yesterday evening and was halted briefly for safety at 1 a.m., before picking back up at 7 a.m. Today, officials tell me it’s been all hands on deck with teams from multiple jurisdictions using 9 to 10 boats, SONAR, a drone, and divers to help find this young woman.

“When the crews arrived here last night, they gathered information from witnesses,” said 1st Sgt. Gregg Lowery from the SC Department of Natural Resources. “At that point, we got the boats in the water and began the search. If we could keep boat traffic at a minimum, in that area which would be near the state park, Kershaw county side.”

Crews from Kershaw County Fire, Rescue, and Sheriff’s Office are helping with the search, along with fire and rescue crews out of Fairfield County and Camden.

“We’re still investigating, we still have boats in the water, we’re still combing the banks, County’s got a drone in the air, and we’re still trying to find this girl,” said Kaley Lawrimore said the Public Information Officer for the SC Department of Natural Resources.

There was a little bit of rain in the area today, but authorities say conditions were optimal for the search teams. They’re planning to begin the search efforts again first thing Tuesday morning.

DNR officials say there were several people on that pontoon when the woman jumped. Officials haven’t yet released her identity.

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