Crews continue search for two missing men from overturned boat off NC coast

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Overturned boat near Beaufort on Nov. 10, 2020. (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard District 5)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Crews continue their search for two missing men, one of whom is from Wilmington, after an overturned boat was discovered near Beaufort Inlet Tuesday morning.

George Hamilton Andrews from Raleigh and William (Bill) Watkins Merriman IV from Wilmington remain missing. They were last seen leaving Atlantic Beach Sunday for a fishing trip aboard the 35-foot boat Strike Zone.

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The Coast Guard has expanded their search and has covered nearly 7,300 square miles. The Coast Guard is continuing their search using a 154-foot Fast Response Cutter, a 47-foot Motor Life Boat, and a C-130 Hercules aircraft. The National Park Service and Carteret County Sheriff’s Department are conducting searches along the shoreline.

Resources used in the search efforts:
– Coast Guard Station Fort Macon 47-foot Motor Life Boat
– Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter
– Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City C-130 Hercules aircraft
– Coast Guard Cutter Seahawk
– Coast Guard Cutter Nathan Bruckenthal
– Atlantic Beach Fire Department small boat
– Morehead City Fire Department small boat
– Beaufort Fire Department small boat
– National Park Service
– Carteret County Sheriff’s Department

TowBoat U.S. recovered the overturned vessel and is assisting in the investigation.

Anyone with information relating to the case is asked to reach out to Sector North Carolina Command Center watchstanders at (910) 343-3880.