MURRELLS INLET, SC (WBTW) – Crews from Horry County Fire Rescue’s dive team, Murrells Inlet-Garden City Fire and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources continue their search for a missing swimmer on the Intracoastal Waterway in Murrells Inlet on Monday.
Crews resumed the search Monday morning after responding to a call of a missing swimmer at around 5:40 Sunday night.
A longtime family friend of the swimmer, Ronald Thompson and his son, stopped by the Wacca Wache boat landing were crews stage the search.
“I just feel lost for words. It’s like you try to describe the worst scenario situation in your life and you don’t have words to explain it,” Thompson said.
Thompson said his son was on the boat with the missing swimmer, 21-year-old Roger Wigfall, before he went in the water.
“I really don’t know the exact specifics that took place, but we just can say it was a tragedy that happened to someone that was special,” Thompson said.
Thompson has known Roger’s family for decades and says he was always outgoing and polite.
“(He’s a) person that’s upbeat, one that will joke, that (will) bring a smile to your face, one that’s very respectful – every time he sees you he asks, ‘Pastor, how are you doing; is everything alright?’ Close to feeling like it’s my own son right now that’s gone, but with prayers and hopes, we hope for the best.”
Rescue crews used sonar to scan the water around mile marker 53, Roger’s last known location.
As the search hits the 24 hour mark with still no sign of Roger, Thompson tries to keep the faith.
“You have hopes but it seems like as another hour turns, you lose a little bit of faith, but as a pastor and as a human we all go through that, but we hope and we pray for the best. Who knows, maybe he’s hanging on a tree outside of the marsh, waiting for help. That would be the best miracle of them all,” Thompson said.