Hunt called off for missing diver after 3-day search

(Jenny Sanborn/WCIV)

FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCIV) -- Coast Guard officials have called off the search for a missing diver more than three days after his disappearance.

According to officials, crews have covered more than 2,700 nautical miles in the search for the missing teen over the last 53 hours. They said continuing to search would not increase their probability of finding the missing teen.

Coast Guard officials compared the search area to the size of Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester counties combined. There were 27 total searches for the teen, and officials have contacted the family to let them know the search has been called off.

"This is a heartbreaking time for everyone involved, and we extend our deepest sympathies to Tristen Allen's family, friends and loved ones," said Capt. Ric Rodriguez, commander of Coast Guard Sector Charleston. "Decisions to end searches are among the most difficult Coast Guard members are ever forced to make, and are not ones we take lightly."

Friends and former classmates identified the teen as 18-year-old Tristen Allen. They gathered for a vigil at James Island Charter High School over the weekend, where Allen went to school. They also painted a tribute on the Folly Beach Boat.

On Tuesday, The Citadel's new head football coach said Allen was going to try out for the football team. According to Mike Houston, Allen was on the list to try out and had plans to be a cadet and football player at the military college.

According to officials, the father and teen dive duo were about 13 miles southeast of Folly Beach on Saturday afternoon, diving from their 22-foot Carolina skiff. Crews say the two men went into the water around 2 p.m. for a 30-minute, 60-feet-deep dive.

The father surfaced but his son did not, officials said.

Search teams consisted of a crew aboard a 45-foot Response Boat - Medium from Coast Guard Station Charleston and a crew aboard an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Facility Charleston.

Officials have now called in helicopters from Air Stations Clearwater, Florida, and Savannah, Georgia; a C-130 plane from Air Station Clearwater; and the Coast Guard Cutter Tarpon.

Good Samaritans who were diving nearby were also assisting with the search, officials said.