Coast Guard, partner agencies search for two missing from overturned vessel

Published 3:48 pm Thursday, November 12, 2020

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The Coast Guard and partner agencies continue their search for two people in the water after an overturned recreational vessel was discovered near Beaufort Inlet on Tuesday morning, November 10.

George Hamilton Andrews from Raleigh and William “Bill” Watkins Merriman IV from Wilmington remain missing as of mid-day Thursday. They were last seen departing from Atlantic Beach on Sunday for a fishing trip aboard the 35-foot recreational boat Strike Zone.

The Coast Guard reports it has expanded its search and has covered nearly 7300 square miles. The Coast Guard is continuing its search using a 154-foot Fast Response Cutter, a 47-foot Motor Life Boat and a C-130 Hercules aircraft. The National Park Service and Carteret County Sheriff’s Department are conducting searches along the shoreline.

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Resources used in the search efforts include a Coast Guard Station Fort Macon 47-foot Motor Life Boat, Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter, Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City C-130 Hercules aircraft, Coast Guard Cutter Seahawk, Coast Guard Cutter Nathan Bruckenthal, Atlantic Beach Fire Department small boat, Morehead City Fire Department small boat, Beaufort Fire Department small boat, National Park Service and Carteret County Sheriff’s Department

TowBoat U.S. recovered the overturned vessel and is assisting in the investigation.

Those with information relating to the case are asked to reach out to Sector North Carolina Command Center watchstanders at 910-343-3880.