Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Search Continues For Missing Boater

The search continues for the operator of a boat found unoccupied near the Highway 43 bridge.

The Reservoir Patrol issued the following press release identifying the owner of the boat as Larry Wayne Thomas, 64, of Jackson.

Search for Missing Boater Continues

Search and rescue Personnel continued their search this morning for a boater believed to be missing in the Pearl River just North of Highway 43.  The Reservoir Patrol was notified just before 1 PM Tuesday, December 20, 2011 that an unoccupied boat was found running by another boater.  The Metro One Law Enforcement Helicopter was dispatched to the area to search the area soon after the report.  Law Enforcement and Search and Rescue personnel responded and searched the surface area by boat and with divers until just past dark when a severe storm was approaching the area.

The Missing Boater has been identified as Larry Wayne Thomas, 64, of Jackson, Mississippi.

The Multi-jurisdictional Search and Rescue Team is made up of personnel from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks, Lake Harbor, Reservoir, Pelahatchie & Leesburg Fire Departments, Rankin EOC’s Special Response Team and the Reservoir Patrol.  With the brisk temperatures the American Red Cross was on hand with warm beverages for the personnel on the scene.

“We are working diligently to bring Mr. Thomas home to his loved ones.”   Stated Perry Waggener, Chief of the Reservoir Patrol.   “Because no witnesses have been located that actually saw Mr. Thomas enter the water, our search area is expansive.  We remain hopeful for a quick resolution.”

Officials told TRN that Mr. Thomas's boat had a GPS installed.  Rescue personnel took his boat out this morning to see if the GPS would pinpoint the location of any unusual event.

Mr. Thomas's boat
Shortly afterwards the search teams relocated about a quarter of a mile up-river near an area where the boat canal from Goshen Springs Campground intersects with the river channel. 

arrow indicates approximate search area - click to enlarge

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks deployed an air boat this morning to have access to shallow areas.

The Rez News
Barnett Reservoir

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