Rescued group from Wolf River never worried, scared - - The News for South Mississippi

Rescued group from Wolf River never worried, scared


By Elizabeth Vowell – email

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A fun trip floating down the Wolf River turned into an overnight search and rescue for five missing floaters. 

Kristy Budovec and a few friends, decided to try floating down the Wolf River.  Budovec said she had never done it, but that she had several friends who recommended it. 

The group of eight started their trip around 9am Monday. Three were in one canoe while Budovec and four others were riding in inner tubes.  

According to the Harrison County Sheriff's Department, the four mile section of river takes about six and half hours to float in an inner tube, but less than half that time in a canoe. 

"Our canoe leaders had gotten away from us on a couple of bends, and we couldn't catch up to them," said Budovec.

The five tubers got separated from the canoe, which had all the packed snacks and cell phones.  Budovec knew they were suppose to get out at Cable Bridge, but the slower moving inner tubes were taking much longer than expected.

"Well, when we kept going and we could never find the bridge we knew we were suppose to stop at, and it kept getting darker and darker and darker," Budovec explained.

The group was not familiar with the river.  When dark fell, they decided to pull up on a beach and spend the night, continuing their trip in the morning. 

"We were all tired going down, but it wasn't really scary or nothing, so we just made it work. It was like camping without the tent," said Budovec.   

The other half of the party called the Harrison County Sheriff's Department when no one showed up by dark.  A search began immediately.  The five tubers were found by 5:30am Tuesday, safe and sound.

According to the officers, it's common for people to get lost while floating the river. But Budovec has learned some valuable lessons for future trips.

"If you're going in a group, if you go around a bend or two and lose your other group, stop and wait till you see them. That way they can catch up."

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