Search continues for 3 missing boaters off Tybee Island

Search continues for 3 missing boaters off Tybee Island
The fishing vessel Miss Debbie was found capsized about one mile northeast of Tybee Island. (Source: USCG)
The fishing vessel Miss Debbie was found capsized about one mile northeast of Tybee Island. (Source: USCG)

TYBEE ISLAND, GA (WTOC) - Search and rescue efforts continue for the three passengers of an overturned fishing vessel about one mile northeast of Tybee Island.

Coast Guard officials say they first got the call around 6:22 p.m. Tuesday night after an emergency position indicating radio beacon activation was registered to the 47-foot fishing vessel, Miss Debbie. The boat was based in Swan Quarter, North Carolina.

A 45-foot response boat and an Air Station helicopter were deployed at 7:35 p.m. and reached the Miss Debbie at 7:48 p.m. to find it capsized after severe storms ripped through the area.

Parts of coastal Georgia were under warnings for tornadoes and severe thunderstorms Tuesday evening, and the National Weather Service has since confirmed an EF-1 tornado touched down on the islands Tuesday afternoon. The survey team from Charleston says the the twister developed around 5:54 p.m. Tuesday on the southwest end of Wilmington Island. It traveled northeast about seven miles before moving out into the ocean just beyond Fort Pulaski.

The search went into Wednesday around the same area off Tybee. The U.S. Coast Guard, Georgia and South Carolina DNR, and Savannah Fire and Emergency Services have all been involved in the search.

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter continued their search efforts overnight Wednesday.

As of Thursday morning, all three boaters are still missing and the search and rescue efforts continue.

In a separate incident Tuesday afternoon, the Coast Guard rescued four boaters off Pritchard's Island, S.C.

WTOC will continue to follow this developing story. Stay with us for the latest updates.

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