Coroner identifies 18-year-old who drowned off Pawleys Island


PAWLEYS ISLAND, SC (WCSC/WMBF) – The Georgetown County coroner has identified the swimmer whose body was recovered Saturday night on Pawleys Island.

Ivan Reyes Tagui, 18, of Georgetown, drowned Saturday while swimming with two others, according to Coroner Kenny Johnson.

Tagui’s body was recovered at approximately 8:45 p.m., Pawleys Island Police Chief Michael Fanning said. The other swimmers were males between the ages of 16 and 20, according to Midway Fire Rescue Chief Doug Eggiman.

A Pawleys Island Police officer rescued two other swimmers earlier in the afternoon, but authorities said Tagui went under, prompting a search that lasted more than four hours. According to officials, there are no lifeguards on duty in the area where the swimmers went missing.

Midway Fire Rescue responded at 4:14 p.m. Saturday to an initial report of three swimmers in distress, according to a tweet from Georgetown County.

Pawleys Island resident Daniel Cannon, who witnessed the search talked about how people were trying to help.

“It makes you want to run out into the ocean,” he said. “But we couldn’t see where he was at, we didn’t know anything, and everybody out here kind of lined up and we were looking and trying to see if we could spot somebody.”

The search was called off because of darkness at approximately 8 p.m., Midway Fire Rescue Chief Doug Eggiman said.

But after the search had ended for the night, Tagui’s body was found in the surf, he said. The apparent age range of the body was consistent with the reported age of the missing swimmer, Eggiman said.

The Georgetown County coroner responded to the scene shortly after 9 p.m.

Rescue crews took the two swimmers to Grand Strand Hospital where one was admitted and the other declined treatment, Fanning said. The officer who rescued them was treated and released at Waccamaw Hospital, he said.

Midway Fire Rescue, Pawleys Island Police, the Department of Natural Resources, the Coast Guard and the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office were all involved in the search for the third swimmer into the night.

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