The body of a crewmember who was missing after a workboat under tow by the dredge Brunswick capsized in the harbor at Charleston, S.C. was recovered Friday morning, Coast Guard officials said.
The boat with two crew on board was off the city’s Battery, near the main harbor and Ashley River channels, when the accident was reported to Coast Guard watchstanders at 9:51 p.m. Thursday.
An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew launched from Charleston along with two response boat crews, who searched through the night and again at first light Friday.
Charleston and North Charleston police and fire marine units joined in the search, along with the Charleston County Sheriff’s Department and South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. At about 7:50 a.m. Friday, Coast Guard watchstanders got a report from a fisherman who sighted a body near Orangegrove Creek off the Ashley River.
The Charleston County coroner's office identified the crewman as Derrick Nesmith, 49, of Goose Creek, S.C.
“While the response was immediate and involved eight agencies, we were ultimately unable to locate the mariner in time. Our condolences go out to the family, friends, and coworkers dealing with this heartbreaking loss," said Capt. John Reed, commander of Coast Guard Sector Charleston, in a statement.
Coast Guard boat crews went to the scene but could not get into shallows to retrieve the body, and sheriff's officers brought in an airboat to make the recovery.
The dredge operator Southern Dredging Co., Inc., Charleston, was coordinating salvage of the workboat. The cause of the capsizing is under investigation, according to the Coast Guard.