Day 18: SCDNR says ‘no foul play suspected’ in case of missing boater Tyler Doyle

Published: Feb. 13, 2023 at 12:02 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 13, 2023 at 5:13 PM EST
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NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - The search for a missing 22-year-old boater has now passed the third weekend.

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources said the weather has improved after a rainy weekend, and that the search for Tyler Doyle continues.

“We will continue to be on the water today with the Brunswick County (N.C.) Sheriff’s Office, and the volunteer rescue group Wings of Hope is also helping in the search,” SCDNR posted on its Twitter.

SCDNR released new details Monday stating no foul play is suspected in the case, reiterating that this is a hunting/boating accident.

A small-craft advisory was in effect on Jan. 26, the day Doyle was last seen, meaning the seas were “rough and not conducive for smaller vessel operation.”

After dropping his friend off at the north jetty where crews later rescued him, Doyle went out to put out some duck decoys. The two stayed in contact over the phone, when Doyle went around the south jetty his friend lost sight of him. Shortly after, Doyle said he began having mechanical issues and the boat began taking water, according to the SCDNR.

Doyle’s friend attempted to flag down another boat to check on Doyle but the conditions worsened and the boat was unable to reach Doyle’s boat.

It took Horry County Fire Rescue crews nine minutes after being dispatched to get into the water.

Crews discovered Doyle’s boat, bow up and motor down, submerged in the water. SCDNR was a part of the multi-agency search with HCFR, North Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue and the Coast Guard.

Rescuers said the water temperature was 50 degrees, and the air temperature was 39 degrees.

Weather conditions that day, coupled with boating mechanical issues, appear to be the predominant contributing factors.

“We mourn right alongside Tyler’s family and our officers have been with them throughout this process,” said SCDNR Investigator Ronnie Floyd. “We want to bring them closure, and that’s why we are working every day to try and find him.”


The search for Doyle moved up along the North Carolina coast after SCDNR said the conditions of the ocean and current shifted the search northward.

SCDNR said that on Jan. 31, Doyle’s waders, along with his wallet, were found off the North Carolina coast.

Along with SCDNR and the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office, the Sunset Beach and Holden Beach police departments continue to search the beach during daylight hours for any sign of Doyle.

The Wisconsin-based nonprofit, Wings of Hope Search and Rescue, started helping last week in the search. SCDNR said the group is using “boats equipped with underwater sonar and 3D imaging, cadaver dogs and drones.”

Wings of Hope Search and Rescue posted on its Facebook page that it was able to get out on the water Sunday and do some searching with the sonar. The group was also able to fly its drones over the weekend to help with the search.

SCDNR investigators said phone records, coupled with the data location information from Doyle’s location sharing app, witness interviews, a boat inspection and recovered items indicate there was no foul play involved.

The agency added that rumors regarding pending criminal charges against Tyler are unfounded.

Stay with WMBF News for updates.