Missing angler found dead on Pee Dee River

Pee Dee River
The angler was fishing below Blewett Falls Dam when his boat capsized.

An April 29, 2023 fishing trip turned tragic for angler Mark O’Neal, whose lifeless body was found days later on the Pee Dee River.

O’Neal, of Rockingham, NC, was fishing with his dog Bailey, but when they did not return home that night, family members alerted authorities, prompting a search. The search stretched from Blewett Falls Dam, downstream to the boat landing in Cheraw, SC.

Rescuers found the dog alive on May 1 around noon. The next day, searchers found O’Neal and his boat.

According to Richmond County Sheriff Mark Gulledge, the 61-year-old angler’s boat apparently capsized, leading to his demise.

“Unfortunately, the outcome was not what everyone was hoping and praying for when Mr. O’Neal was located deceased,” said the sheriff.

About Brian Cope 2745 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of Carolina Sportsman. He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at brianc@sportsmannetwork.com.

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