Local departments describe strategy when searching Ohio River for missing persons
LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) - Several crews spent all day on the river, searching for three people still lost from Saturday's pontoon boat accident on the Ohio River.
They used everything from sonar to radar to help find the missing boaters.
Captain Randy Burton leads the search for the Clark County Sheriff's Department.
He recovered one of the victims who died after the boat capsized Saturday night.
"We've searched all day Sunday," said Josh Gilbert with the U.S. Coast Guard. "(And) we've been on the water since 8:30 this morning."
The Coast Guard travels up and down the river at just 10 miles per hour.
They're looking for colors, anything that doesn't look like driftwood or debris.
The pontoon was rented from Derbyville Water Rentals.
The owner says there were nine adult life jackets on board and two youth life jackets.
Authorities could not say if all were in use.
The Coast Guard says of the 4,000 boating accidents reported across the U.S. last year, 610 of those were fatal.
And in 82 percent of those cases, the victims weren't wearing life jackets.
Officials say most victims of river drownings are found within 100 feet of the boating accident - that is for the first few days.
As more time passes, the liklihood increases that a victim's body becomes buoyant and floats downstream. So for these crews, the search continues.
"Just to think that on July 4, you go out and see the fireworks on the water and to come home with half your family is unimaginable," Burton said.
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