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Coast Guard rescues 4 missing divers off North Carolina coast

The U.S. Coast Guard deployed several aircraft and patrol boats to the area. The four divers were rescued off the coast from Cape Fear River, N.C.
Coast Guard looking for 4 missing divers off Myrtle Beach coast
Posted at 5:49 AM, Aug 14, 2023

Four divers that went missing off the coast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina have been found and rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard after they were located off the coast, southeast of Cape Fear River, North Carolina.

The Coast Guard released video showing a large naval craft sending out a smaller vessel to rescue the four as they floated on a small flotation device in the open water. 

The U.S. Coast Guard announced on Sunday that it was searching for the four divers who went missing over the weekend. 

The Coast Guard said it was notified that four men diving from the pleasure craft Big Bill's, around 63 miles east of Myrtle Beach, did not resurface. The divers went missing around noon on Sunday.

The Coast Guard said those rescued were Ben Wiggins, 64, Luke Lodge, 26, Daniel Williams, 46, and Evan Williams, 16.

The massive search included two HC-130 aircraft, an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter, a 47-foot motor lifeboat and two 87-foot patrol boats. 

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Weather did not appear to be a factor as the area reported fair conditions when the divers went missing.

The Coast Guard said watchstanders spotted an SOS-strobe light and were able to locate the four missing divers before launching a life raft. At about 6:10 a.m. the divers were reunited with their friends and family and were said to be uninjured. 

The Coast Guard says it performs an average of 16,000 search and rescues per year and averages over 4,000 lives saved annually. 

"The Coast Guard strives to alleviate human suffering and minimize loss of life and property by rendering aid to those in distress in the maritime environment and elsewhere when Coast Guard intervention can influence the outcome of life-threatening incidents," the Coast Guard said. 

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