HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) – Members of the missing group found this morning on Wolf River said they were never really scared. A few hours after being rescued off a sand bar, they recounted their overnight stay on the banks of the river.
Kristy Budovec, one of the two adults present, said her group got separated from the rest of their floating party. Budovec, her boyfriend Justin Dayton, and three children were using innertubes to float the river while 3 others had faster floating canoes. The canoes got about half a mile ahead and Budovec and the others couldn't keep up.
When it got dark and they still had not reached Cable Bridge, they decided to pull up on the bridge for the night. No one knew the area well, so they stayed put instead of risking getting lost. Nobody in the group had a cell phone. So, nobody could call friends and tell them about their decision to stay on the river overnight.
Later, officers from Harrison County Sheriff's Department said staying put was the best thing they could have done.
Not knowing where the innertube group was, the group in the canoes called for help after. Overnight, sheriff's deputies launched a land and air search for the missing people. The five people were located around 5:30 am.
Budovec said the kids main complaint was they were hungry. She said they all knew they'd be okay. And they plan to go out again, without the kids. But she has advice for future floaters: stay together and keep a cell phone with you. The friends in the canoe had all their cells. Budovec's group didn't.
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