Tyler Doyle disappeared on Jan. 26, 2023
Duck hunter Tyler Doyle, 22-years-old from Loris, SC, went missing during a duck hunt near the jetties off of Little River on Jan. 26, 2023. As of Feb. 7, search crews are still looking for him, with most search efforts taking place around the Brunswick County, NC area.
According to SCDNR spokesman Greg Lucas, numerous agencies have aided in the search, including the U.S. Coast Guard, N. Myrtle Beach Fire & Rescue, NCWRC, NC Marine Patrol, Holden Beach Police Dept., Sunset Beach Police Dept., and the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office. Several volunteer organizations and private citizens have also taken part in the search, which Lucas said is still ongoing.
The searches have involved land, sea and air crews.
While Doyle has not been found, one other hunter who has not been named was picked up by the N. Myrtle Beach Rescue Squad shortly after 5 p.m. on Jan. 26. The hunter was reportedly standing on the north jetty and directed the crew to where he last saw Doyle in his 16-foot johnboat.
The Rescue Squad proceeded to look for Doyle, finding only the boat, which had taken on a substantial amount of water. A search for Doyle came up empty, and the rescue crew headed back to pick up the other hunter. Somehow, that hunter ended up in the water, but it is unclear why. He may have slipped in due to the slippery surface, but some reports also say the rescue boat was unable to reach him due to conditions, and instructed him to enter the water so they could pull him into the boat without the crew running aground. He was reportedly treated for hypothermia.
Some of Doyle’s items have been found
Meanwhile, Horry County Fire & Rescue boats and the U.S. Coast Guard arrived on scene and performed an extensive search, which came up empty in the first 24 hours. Searches have continued every day since, and several items believed to be Doyle’s have been found at different intervals, including his wallet with driver’s license, several duck decoys and a pair of neoprene waders which can float for an extended period of time. Those items were found offshore of and around Brunswick County, NC.
Due to conflicting reports, it is unclear who called 911, whether Doyle was initially wearing his waders or simply had them in the boat, and whether Doyle was wearing a life vest.
According to Lucas, the other hunter had been dropped off by Doyle. Then Doyle reportedly took the boat to attempt to scare ducks toward that hunter’s location to give that hunter a shot at the ducks. At some point, the boat ceased functioning properly and began taking on water. Either Doyle or the other hunter called for help, prompting the rescue teams into action.
Either Sea Tow or Tow Boat USA pulled the boat out of the water.
SCDNR said they will continue providing updates on Twitter @SCDNR.