NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — A weekend boating accident in South Carolina’s portion of the Intercoastal Waterway claimed the life of a Henderson man and his younger brother, authorities in that state say.
Ahykeem Jones, 28, of Henderson and Johnnie Magbie, 19, of Supply, North Carolina, drowned on Sunday near the Pelican Bay landing, which is across the water from North Myrtle Beach and Atlantic Beach. Divers from the S.C. Department of Natural Resources recovered their bodies Monday.
Department spokesman David Lucas said the brothers and other family members were on a rental pontoon boat when one of the men fell in the water.
The boat was underway, and “I think they hit some rough water,” Lucas said.
He explained that though the channel is inland and sheltered from the ocean, it’s still a busy waterway with “a lot of boat traffic” and “a good bit of chop” from the wakes of passing boats. It’s also “tidally influenced” and can have some strong currents.
Horry County Chief Deputy Coroner Tamara Willard identified Jones as the man who fell in, and said Magbie “jumped in after him.”
Magbie followed his brother, who was struggling in the water, “to try to help him,” Lucas said. But neither man resurfaced.
The accident happened at around 7 p.m. on Sunday, and authorities “immediately started a search by boat as quick as we could get there,” Lucas said.
The S.C. Department of Natural Resources is investigating the accident, as it does any time there’s a boat-related drowning. The investigation remains underway, but it should “wrap up in a day or two” as the staff in the department’s marine investigations unit finish interviewing witnesses, Lucas said.
The Associated Press, citing the “South Carolina Coast Guard” as its source, said the brothers were wearing life jackets, but crews found them in the water.
The wire service also reported that Magbie had played football for West Brunswick High School in North Carolina. The team roster listed him as a senior running back and free safety for the spring 2021 season.
Contact Ray Gronberg at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 252-436-2850.