Boaters missing off NC Coast have Gaston County connection

Boaters missing off NC Coast have Gaston County connection
Heffner (Alex Giles | WBTV)
Heffner (Alex Giles | WBTV)

GASTON COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - Friends and family members posting about two lost boaters on Facebook say the two missing men are from Gaston County.

Steve Chaney and David Hambric did not return from a Sunday fishing trip off the coast of Oak Island, according to WECT News. The wife of one of the men contacted emergency officials when the men did not return from the trip.

Mount Holly resident Paula Heffner told WBTV she grew up with the men and really wants to see them found safe.

Crews from the Coast Guard have now been searching the coastline for the missing boaters.

Heffner said she found out her friends were missing via Facebook. She said she saw friends and family members posting about Chaney and Hambric.

"These guys mean the world to a lot of people," said Heffner. "It's important that we try to find these guys."

Heffner said she called her brother and sister who live in Carolina Beach, North Carolina, not far from Oak Island. She said that friends and family members have started organizing search groups to scan the waters for the missing men.

"They've got a whole team of people wanting to find these guys," explained Heffner.

Heffner said she was in Carolina Beach Sunday and noticed that the waters didn't look safe for boating.

"The weather was rough, so rough I wouldn't even let my little boy in the water," said Heffner.

She is now pleading with boaters along the coast to help find the men. She asked that boaters interested in joining the search contact her sister, "Becki Heffner," on Facebook.

"I just hope they find them alive," said Heffner.

Coast Guard crews will continue looking for the missing men according to Lt. Zehnle with the with Coast Guard Sector North Carolina based out of Wilmington.

Zehnle said a Coast Guard Cutter boat will be searching for the men overnight and aircraft will be used Wednesday morning. She said that Coast Guard stations from Georgetown, SC and Charleston, SC will also be assisting in the search.

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