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Coast Guard searches for missing fisherman off Myrtle Beach coast

The search for a missing fisherman continues today in the Atlantic Ocean off the Myrtle Beach area coast after the man’s boat washed ashore near 60th Avenue North, according to U.S. Coast Guard officials.

Crews will search today for Thomas “Andy” Richmond, 55, of Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., whose boat washed ashore in Myrtle Beach about 11:20 p.m. Thursday, according to the Coast Guard. In addition to Coast Guard officials, Myrtle Beach police, the State Law Enforcement Division, and the state Department of Natural Resources are searching the waters offshore for the man.

The search began just after midnight when Myrtle Beach police were notified about a fishing boat in the ocean in the 6000 block of Ocean Boulevard, Capt. David Knipes said. The boat, which is owned by Richmond, washed up in the surf with the motor running. No one was inside the 28-foot boat, “Heads or Tails.”

Family members had called N.C. authorities after Richmond failed to return home Thursday night, according to authorities.

The Coast Guard launched an MH-65 rescue helicopter crew from Air Facility Charleston, an MHC-130 air crew from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., and 47-foot rescue boat crews from Coast Guard Station Georgetown and Station Oak Island, N.C.

In addition, the 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Yellowfin, homeported in Charleston, and the 140-foot Coast Guard Cutter Thunder Bay, homeported in Rockland, Maine, are assisting in the search.

Anyone with information about Richmond or his whereabouts can call the Coast Guard command center in Charleston at 843-740-7050.

More details will be posted as they become available.