Anglers recall fatal boat capsizing incident during oystering trip
BEAUFORT CO., SC (WTOC) -
A Lowcountry fisherman dies and another is taken to the hospital after their boat capsized. It happened Wednesday in the Broad River in northern Beaufort County.
"It's very tough, it's just like losing a member of the family," said Craig Reaves.
Reaves and many others at Sea Eagle Market are mourning one of their own Martin Luther, who was also known as ML Stewart after the accident on river.
"He loved the river," said Reaves. "That was his passion was shrimping, oystering and clamming He loved the water."
But that passion turned to tragedy Wednesday when Stewart and another fisherman went oystering in the Broad River, along with three other boats.
"It was rough, but it wasn't anything we are not used to going in and they put in about 1:30 or 2 to work the low waters," said Reaves.
Reaves said the two men were in a 19-foot boat and that when it got dark, they got into trouble.
"They were headed across the river and the boat got swamped from the bow or the front and Stewart hollered to throw the oysters off the boat and instead of throwing the oysters, Vince went for the life jackets and they both got the life jackets on and the boat capsized within moments of getting their life jackets and they both got out of the boat and on top of the boat and rode the boat across the Broad River," said Reaves.
But somehow Stewart ended up in the water, which Reaves said was about 47 degrees.
Reaves said that when he heard that the boat had not returned to shore, they immediately got a search team out looking.
"We put in our boat to assist Beaufort Search and Rescue and went looking for him as well," said Reaves.
Despite the low temperatures, crews were able to find the other fisherman alive.
"Vince was found around 8:30, so it was about three hours," said Reaves. "It is a miracle. Vince also said they prayed a lot crossing the river and he knew ML had his heart right with the lord so I have a lot of peace with that."
Reaves said the fisherman, who had been taken to the hospital was released, is planning to get back out on the water.
Saturday, May 25 2013 12:46 PM EDT2013-05-25 16:46:21 GMT
(Photo Credit: Courtesy: USMC)
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