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Body of missing boater found near Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge

THE INDEPENDENT NEWS

KNOTTS ISLAND, N.C. – The body of a 45-year-old man who went missing after boating in the Currituck Sound was recovered by a North Carolina wildlife official on Tuesday, near Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge, a U.S. Coast Guard spokesperson said.

The boater today was identified as Stacey R. Twiford, 45, from Moyock, N.C., according to Jodie Owen, a spokesperson for the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.

Twiford’s body was recovered in a small cove near Mackay Island, Owen said. 

Sgt. Steve Jarvis, an enforcement officer for the commission, recovered Twiford in the Currituck Sound at about 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Owen added.

The Moyock man had been last seen boating on Saturday by his sister, who was in another boat, according to a statement to reporters by the Coast Guard. 

That day, at about 6:40 p.m., watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Carolina were notified that an unmanned 19-foot skiff was circling south of the entrance to Tull Bay west of Knotts Island. 

Officials from a number of agencies and several local boaters participated in the search for the missing boater. The man was said not to be wearing a life jacket, according to the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard suspended its search at about 6 p.m., Sunday. The 20-hour search by Coast Guard boats and helicopters had covered 95 square miles. 

In addition, state wildlife and Currituck County Sheriff’s Office officials had participated in efforts to recover the man.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the missing man’s family tonight,” Chief Seth Haynes, command duty officer for Coast Guard Sector North Carolina, said in a statement released to reporters after the agency’s search was suspended.

At about 12:20 p.m., Tuesday,  state wildlife officials notified the Coast Guard that they had recovered the body, said Petty Officer 3rd Class Corinne Zilnicki, a spokesperson for the 5th Coast Guard District.


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