BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. — Day 34 and counting.
That’s how long searchers have been looking for missing boater Tyler Doyle, who went missing on Jan. 26 when he and a friend went duck hunting in a jon boat at the Little River jetties near North Myrtle Beach.
While crews from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and the sheriff’s office in Brunswick County, North Carolina, and others continued searching the water and beaches on Tuesday, the Wisconsin-based volunteer search group Wings of Hope said it has pulled out after more than three weeks of using sonar, K9s and drones to try to find Doyle.
“Today we had to make the hardest decisions in search and rescue,” the group said in Facebook post. “We had to tell this loving family that there was nothing more we could do as a search and rescue group. My heart goes out to Tyler Doyle’s wife and family.”
In the meantime, the DNR and others haven’t given up hope.
“A window of good weather is expected for search by boat today,” the DNR said in its daily update on search efforts.
The Civil Air Patrol has also been taking part in the search for Doyle, according to the DNR. However, the group had to cancel its flight on Monday because of cloud cover. The DNR did not say when the group would resume its search efforts.
Some of Doyle’s family have also used live sonar on one of their boats to scan the water for Doyle, the DNR said.
The DNR has said foul play is not suspected in Doyle’s disappearance. There was a small-craft advisory in place on Jan. 26 when rescuers were called about a boat in distress. They were able to get Doyle’s friend safely to land but were not able to locate Doyle.
SCDNR said phone records, location data, witness interviews, a boat inspection and recovered items “currently indicate this to be a hunting/boating accident and no foul play is suspected at this time.”
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Dennis Bright is a digital producer at News13. Dennis is a West Virginia native and graduate of Marshall University. He has won copyediting and journalism awards in Virginia and Ohio. Follow Dennis on Twitter and read more of his work here.