Deputies: Missing boater's dog 'never left his side' - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Deputies: Missing boater's dog 'never left his side'

NEWBERRY COUNTY, SC (WISTV) - A Newberry County boater who had been missing for four days was found dead inside his boat Wednesday evening and deputies say his dog never left his side.

Russell L. Sandlin, 61, of Prosperity was found around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Saluda County, according to Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster. Foster said the Prosperity Rescue Squad found Sandlin in his boat, which had run aground near a place called Spring Creek.

Sandlin had been last seen Sunday afternoon by his neighbors getting into his boat on Lake Murray with his Weimaraner, Sadie.

Newberry County Sheriff's Lientenant Robert Dennis said when rescue crews arrived, they saw Sadie still trying to remove branches from Sandlin's body and licking him. The dog's efforts to save her master's life, however, went unrewarded because Sandlin was already dead.

Click here to watch Mary King's report on the search for Sandlin

The incident is being considered an accident, but the Department of Natural Resources is continuing to investigate. It is unclear exactly what killed Sandlin. The Saluda County Coroner's office will handle the investigation to determine Sandlin's cause of death.

Authorities say that based on their investigation, there does not appear to be any foul play involved.

Sadie was unharmed and was expected to be picked up by family members Thursday.

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