The search for a missing angler in the Pocotaligo Swamp off of Hwy 15 in Sumter County was suspended earlier this evening, and search crews with the SCDNR and Sumter County Sheriff's Dept. will resume searching Monday morning.
The missing angler is 61-year-old Harry Lee Bradley of Sumter, and he was last seen Saturday around noon when a group of friends dropped him off to go fishing. They came back Saturday evening and Bradley had not returned to the boat landing, but his friends said because it's not uncommon for Bradley to fish through the night, they were not alarmed.
Sunday morning, his friends returned, and when they still saw no trace of Bradley, they alerted the Sumter County Sheriff's Dept, who then called the SCDNR.
The agencies teamed up to search for Bradley Sunday. They found his boat with his cell phone in it, but did not find Bradley.
High winds are thought to have been a factor in the incident, according to Ken Bell, a spokesman with the Sumter County Sheriff's Dept.
"We had high winds up to 30 miles an hour yesterday, and it was definitely not a good time to go boating alone," said Bell.
While family members say Bell was a strong swimmer, and hope that he was able to make it to one of the islands in the swampy area, he was not found as of Sunday evening, and Bell said the focus will likely shift from search-and-rescue to a recovery operation Monday morning.
Bradley was last seen wearing a green jacket and red canvas pants.