Divers try to find missing woman

The Daily Advance

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Divers have joined the search for a Currituck County woman who tried to swim to shore from a sunken fishing vessel in Currituck Sound earlier this week.

Billyjoe Harris, 35, was riding with two friends — James Estep, 43, and Estep’s 18-year-old son, also named James Estep — when their boat’s bow was hit by waves and sank off Mackay Island Monday.

Officials said Harris and the two Esteps clung to the boat for at least a couple of hours before Harris decided to try to swim to shore. The Esteps were later rescued.

The Coast Guard called off its search for Harris Tuesday. The Coast Guard estimates a person could survive only about two hours in the water, given the weather conditions and temperature.

The Coast Guard estimates a person could only survive about two hours in the water, given the weather conditions and temperature.

Divers were searching areas detected by sonar, as well as the Privateer vessel involved in the accident, in an attempt to locate Billyjoe Harris, Currituck spokesman Randall Edwards said Wednesday afternoon.