The U.S. Coast Guard located a fishing boat that had been lost since Sunday, and no one was on board.
Two Gaston County men took the boat out last weekend. The wife of one of the men called for help after they did not return by dark, as expected.
The vessel was found 15 miles east of Murrells Inlet, according to a tweet sent out by the Coast Guard. As a result of the discovery, search patterns are being expanded near Murrells Inlet, the coast guard said.
Steve Chaney and David Hambrick got underway aboard a 22-foot fishing boat at about 11:30 a.m. Sunday from the South Harbor Boat Ramp in Oak Island, Coast Guard officials stated in a press release.
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Family and friends of two Gaston County cousins lost off the North Carolina coast put together their own private navy of fishing and charter boats to help in the search.
The effort has so far collected 30 privately owned boats to join the U.S. Coast Guard in searching for Steve Chaney and David Hambrick. The two have been missing since Sunday. Chaney is from the Belmont area and Hambrick lives in Stanley.
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to pay for fuel needed by the volunteer searchers, said Dana Keener, Hambrick’s sister-in-law. The campaign had raised nearly $14,000 toward its $20,000 goal by Friday morning.