Search continues for missing boater's body

By WLOX Staff

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Search crews are combing the waters near the Popp's Ferry Bridge Sunday night in what's being called a recovery effort. Divers are searching the waters near the north side of the causeway bridge for a missing boater. He's described as a white man in his early 20s.

Police told WLOX News that around 5pm Sunday night, five people were in a boat headed westbound in one of the channels near the causeway bridge. The officer said the boaters realized too late that the fishing tower on top of the boat was too high to clear the bridge.

Four of the people managed to get off the boat, but a fifth person was knocked into the water as the tower came down. The four who jumped off the boat were rescued by other boaters passing by. They received only minor injuries.

"I don't believe they were wearing their life vests. That might have made a difference, I don't know," Lieutenant Bruce Johnson with the Biloxi Police Department said. "It's always good to have it, to wear it. If you're knocked in the water unconscious, there's a good chance it might save you. If he was wearing it, nobody indicated it."

The accident is still under investigation, but at this point officials don't believe alcohol was involved.

The Bureau of Marine Resources, Biloxi Police, the Harrison County Sheriff's Department and the Coast Guard are working the scene.

Divers will continue searching the scene through the night, but say it's so dark they're having to search and feel by hand.

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