A group of local Marine volunteers are assisting Craven County Emergency Services during the search for a missing 66-year old man on the Neusiok Trail, located near Havelock, North Carolina, Aug. 11, 2016.
The Marines – instructors and students assigned to the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit aboard Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point – joined the search in a heavily wooded area near the air station.
At the county’s request, the 20 Marines reinforced the number of volunteers to about 70 searchers. Volunteers from the Cherry Point Fire Department are also participating in the search, which is being conducted with members of the Craven County Sheriff’s Department, Craven County Emergency Services, Harlow Fire Department, and Morehead City Police Department.
The Marines divided into two groups to search different 2-mile sections alongside other volunteers.
"Having the Marines help us during this time is an awesome resource to have," said Ira Whitford, the assistant director of emergency services for Craven County. "Because of them, we are able to cover more area while still conducting a thorough search. Their professionalism and expertise is off the map. They understand how to search thoroughly and are physically in shape to do something like this in the heat. Being able to rely upon the Marines from Cherry Point is excellent."
As one Marine volunteer pointed out, their primary goal is to help authorities find the missing man for his and his family’s sake. The Marines are glad they have been given the opportunity to help.