Body found in Murrells Inlet identified as missing kayaker, coroner says

Published: Dec. 20, 2021 at 8:40 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 20, 2021 at 9:15 AM EST
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GEORGETOWN COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – Authorities have located the body of a kayaker who went missing over the weekend in Murrells Inlet, according to officials.

Deputies said the body of a white male was found Monday morning within the inshore waters of Murrells Inlet near the Pompano Drive area.

Georgetown County Coroner Chase Ridgeway identified the body as Vladimir Norman, 29, of Murrells Inlet.

Georgetown Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched to the area o Wahoo’s Fish House in Murrell’s Inlet after a female reported her friend missing.

According to the report, the female said she dropped her friend at the Stanley Drive Boat Landing in Garden City with his yellow and green kayak at about 4 p.m.

GCSO said the female told deputies she and Norman agreed to meet back at the boat landing later that night and had been exchanging text messages throughout the day until Norman’s last text, stating he would get back to the boat landing around 9 p.m.

The woman also told deputies she searched for Norman in various locations in the Marshwalk without results, according to the report.

GCSO said at that time it was determined Horry County had jurisdiction and the Coast Guard deployed a search with a chopper and boats. GCSO began pinging Normam’s phone and checking local hospitals.

On Sunday, GCSO deputies received information from a local resident who said she has visited the Marshwalk on Saturday evening and saw Norman’s kayak with the Christmas lights on it, matching a description of a Facebook post about a missing boater.

The resident told deputies she had taken a video of the kayak and posted it to her Facebook page with the quote, “Christmas on the Marshwalk!”

According to the report, she saw Norman throughout the night, paddling in the area of Wicked Tuna and Dead Dog Saloon.

His kayak was found the following night by a good Samaritan near Vandy’s Point, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

According to Ridgeway, Norman’s autopsy will be performed Thursday at the Medical University of South Carolina to determine the cause and manner of death.

In addition to the U.S. Coast Guard, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and marine units from the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the search for Norman.

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