The body of a 17-year-old boater who went missing Monday evening was found just before noon on Tuesday, May 24 on the Waccamaw River. It is currently unknown as to whether the avid outdoorsman, Jacob Causey, drowned or died of injuries sustained when the boat he was piloting crashed into a channel marker.

The crash occurred around 8 p.m. Monday evening, when Causey and a friend met for a late evening fishing expedition. Causey’s friend, an unidentified male, was located immediately after the crash, as diners in the restaurant at Wacca Wache Marina saw the boat strike the channel marker, and were able to rush to the boat as the young man clung to its side.

Rescuers searched the water through the night, but did not find any trace of Causey until Tuesday morning, when his body was recovered by SCDNR divers.

Members of the Grand Strand Saltwater Anglers Club spoke of Causey’s love for the outdoors, and of his knowledge of boating and of the Waccamaw River. The tragedy, they said, is a sobering reminder of how quickly life can change from the joy of a fishing trip to being a life-or-death situation.

“It’s especially true on the water, and on a river with current, where you see something ahead of you and believe you have more time than you actually do. You see it up ahead, and all of a sudden, you’re there,” said Kenny Moore of Myrtle Beach.

Indeed, it changed very quickly for the two teens, according to SCDNR Capt. Robert McCullough.

“Literally within a minute of pulling out of the landing, they ran into a board marker,” said McCullough.

Neither Causey nor his friend were wearing life jackets, said McCullough.

Causey was a senior at Calvary Christian School, and was about to graduate this week. He planned on becoming a game warden, and was a very popular young man around the Grand Strand.