Missing on Long Lake

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 2, 2012

Divers and officials from the Warren County Sheriff’s Department and Vicksburg police and fire departments searched into the early morning hours today to find the bodies of two Vicksburg men presumed dead after a Friday afternoon boating accident near the Kings Point Ferry.

Three men, whose names have not yet been released, were fishing in a boat on Long Lake off Lake Shore Drive when the boat capsized around 6:40 p.m. Friday, Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said. The survivor told Pace he swam back to the boat but the two others could not.

Pace said when the first deputies arrived on scene they found the surviving man clinging to the overturned boat.

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Pace said the part of the lake where the drowning occurred is between 14 and 20 feet deep in different places, and the sheriff’s department was using two boats in addition to the divers to search the area.

Pace said the area being searched was about 75 yards in width and “a couple hundred yards” in length.

“This is a pretty good sized body of water,” Pace said. “It’s not flowing, it’s stagnant, but we’re not exactly sure where the drowning took place.”

One of the boats being used in the search has side scan sonar, which projects images of objects under the water that can be seen on a screen in the boat, Pace said.

“The problem is with water this muddy the picture is not as clear, but it’s still a useful tool,” Pace said.

The full dive team from the Vicksburg Fire Department and their support staff began searching the water around 7 p.m. and continued through the night. One diver from the Fisher Ferry Fire Department came on scene to aid them in the search. Rescue trucks from the Vicksburg Fire Department were brought in at nightfall for extra light in the wooded area surrounding the lake.

“The only reason we’ll stop is if the divers need to take a break,” Pace said. “We’re going to keep this up. We’re not going to quit.”