For years, Ron McManus focused his energies on building artificial reefs along the South Carolina coast. It was only natural for the avid angler, who lived in Little River, to want to give back and help preserve the state’s fisheries for the next generation. However, McManus succumbed to a long fight with cancer earlier this year. Now, family, friends, and the community are honoring his work by placing his ashes in the fish sanctuary that he helped build.
“It was what was his getaway. He loved the ocean, the commune with the Lord and the specialness of God’s creation,” Katharine McManus, his widow, told WWMB.
For years McManus raised money and oversaw the development of the Jim Caudle reef, which was named after one of his late friends. Artificial reefs are vitally important for fish and fishermen and the one named in honor of Jim Caudle is the most-visited in South Carolina, thanks to its location near Myrtle Beach. According to the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce, there are only about 45 artificial fishing reefs in the state, yet they bring about $83 million to the local economy every year thanks to tourism and fishing.
For his part in that legacy, a new section of reef nearby the Jim Caudle area will be named after McManus.
“He was the epitome of volunteerism,” North Myrtle Beach Chamber President Marc Jordan told WBTW . “He didn’t say ‘Go do it,’ he did it.”
The late angler’s ashes have been placed in a 1,400-pound concrete cone that will soon be shipped out to the reef and released. Over time, the cone will become encrusted with algae, soft corals and other organisms, providing a home to fish and other marine animals.
You can see the dedication ceremony below: