Family Speaks on Missing Boater Recovery - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

08/11/04

Family Speaks on Missing Boater Recovery

The search for two missing boaters who disappeared when they crashed into a shrimp boat has ended. The Savannah-Chatham Marine Patrol found 20-year-old Matthew Cason and 17-year-old Daniel Friese's bodies near Lazaretto Creek, just 100 yards from where their boat wrecked late Sunday night. After more than a day and a half of searching the waters off Tybee, crews found both Cason and Friese within a couple hours of each other.

For family members and search crews alike, finding the bodies was an important and emotional step. "We are just so grateful to have some kind of closure for all the family and friends," said Walter Cason, Matthew's uncle.

Police say no matter how many times they've seen something like this, it's never easy to take. "Talking with one of the officers a minute ago, he said he'd been doing this for nine years and nothing about this is very nice and it's best for everyone to put it behind them," said SCMPD spokesman Bucky Burnsed. 

Cason and Friese were passengers in a recreational boat that slammed into an anchored shrimp boat late Sunday night. Two other men, Cason's 24-year-old brother Chad and 17-year-old Joseph Alexander, were injured in the crash. Police are charging Chad with boating under the influence and reckless driving.

"We now shift gears form a recovery phase to full on investigation by Marine Patrol into what and how it happened and if further charges are warranted," said Burnsed.

Family members had pitched in on the search themselves, putting their own boats in the water to help look. They're grateful for the effort put in by the Marine Patrol. "They never gave up and we commend each and every one of them for their efforts," said Watler Cason.

No word yet on any funeral arrangements for either Matthew Cason or Daniel Friese. Both Chad Cason and Joseph Alexander remain at Memorial Health recovering from their injuries.

Reported by: Chris Cowperthwaite, ccowperthwaite@wtoc.com

Powered by Frankly