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Billy Keyserling

Former Beaufort mayor injured in boating accident

From staff reports

Former City of Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling was unresponsive when he was pulled from the water following a boating accident on the Beaufort River today, Saturday, May 21.

Keyserling was admitted to the intensive care unit at Beaufort Memorial Hospital and is reportedly now breathing on his own.

According to reports, Billy and his brother Paul were sailing when their boat capsized near the Beaufort Sandbar. Paul was conscious and alert, while Billy required resuscitation. Once admitted to the hospital, he was placed on a respirator. Doctors have reported that his condition has improved. 

Greg Lucas, a spokesperson for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR), confirmed that DNR resources responded to the boating accident around 1:30 p.m. Lucas added that the accident is under investigation. 

The Beaufort Port Royal Fire Department assisted in the rescue, said Deputy Chief Ross Vezin.

Keyserling, 73, served three terms as mayor. He was first elected in 2008 and ran unopposed in 2012 and 2016. He opted not to run in 2020. 

This is a breaking news story. It will be updated as more information becomes available. 

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