Body found off North Carolina coast after empty boat spotted circling the water

U.S. Coast Guard says empty boat was seen traveling in circles near Emerald Isle

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A body was found off the North Carolina coast after an empty boat was spotted circling the water. 

The U.S. Coast Guard received a report at approximately 3:40 p.m. Friday about an empty 16-foot white center console boat traveling in circles near Emerald Isle, outside of Bogue Inlet Pier, near the beach, Coast Guard Lt. Andrew Jacot told both the Carteret County News-Times and WITN on Sunday. 

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U.S. Coast Guard Station at Oregan Inlet, North Carolina, photographed in 2016. 

U.S. Coast Guard Station at Oregan Inlet, North Carolina, photographed in 2016.  ((Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images))

Coast Guard Petty Officer Steve Lehmann told McClatchy News that the Coast Guard later received a report the boat had run aground. 

The Coast Guard deployed a rescue boat and a helicopter to search for the driver of the boat, whose body was soon located about a mile off of Bogue Inlet. 

Jacot said the deceased man’s family told authorities he had gone out fishing alone. He was not immediately publicly identified. 

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Carteret Fire and Police, NC Wildlife, and Hammocks Beach State Park rangers aided in the search.