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UPDATE: Missing boater found in Lake Waccamaw

READ MORE: Search continues for boater missing in Lake Waccamaw

LAKE WACCAMAW, NC (WWAY) -- Investigators have confirmed that the missing boater in Lake Waccamaw has been found. The search began after a boat was found circling the middle of the lake with no one on board yesterday.

"A call came in. They thought there was a gentleman slumped over in the boat," Lake Waccamaw Town Manager Darren Curry said. "It turned out that it was a life vest in the boat that they had seen. They then got a little closer, and they identified that there was nothing in the boat."

Family members confirmed that the boat belonged to Bunny Goldston of Lake Waccamaw. He took his boat out for a leisurely sunday ride, and never returned.

Divers spent Monday searching for his body just a few hundred yards off shore from the family's home.

"The boat was seen circling unmanned at the time, so we are searching in a grid pattern," Curry said. "Hopefully he is in that area, but we do not know how far the boat traveled before it was called in."

Water conditions in the 9,000-acre lake are further complicating the search for Goldston.

"There's a lot of debris in the water," Curry said. "There's a lot of christmas trees or other debris that it appears have been put in the water by fisherman."

Officials say that events like this highlight the need to wear a life vest while boating.

"Obviously if you're going out by yourself, it's extremely important. If there is nobody with you to help position a rescue, the lake is very large," Curry said.

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