Meridian Star

January 21, 2013

Search for man continuing today

By Brian Livingston / blivingston@themeridianstar.com
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     Emergency officials are continuing their search for a man who may have drowned Saturday in Chunky River near Stuckey Bridge.

    David Sharpe, executive director of the Lauderdale County Emergency Management Agency said Sunday evening from the command post on Wanita Lake Road that attempts to locate the victim's body were unsuccessful Sunday.

    "We are still looking and we won't quit until we locate the victim or exhaust all our possibilities," said Sharp. "The current in the river, which is really swift due to the recent rains, have hampered our progress but we will keep at it."

    The 56-year-old victim, whose name is being withheld by authorities, was in a canoe with two other men Saturday when it turned over into the swift, cold waters of the Chunky River. The two survivors were able to reach the bank but the victim was swept downriver. Sharp said searchers have recovered the canoe and other items that were in the canoe.

    Sunday Sharp said volunteer firefighters, LEMA and Newton County Emergency Management Agency personnel, officers with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks and Lauderdale and Clarke County deputies searched both sides of the river for any sign of the victim. Sharp said searches by boat were difficult and at times hazardous to the search teams because of the current.

    "We have a target area we want to search Monday and it is our hope it yields some results," Sharp said.

    Sharp said he believes the river levels will begin to fall in the next 24 to 36 hours, which will go a long way in helping the search teams.