PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Search boats returned to the Pascagoula River just after sunrise Monday morning. The rescue teams on board are resuming the search for missing Pascagoula High School senior Brandon Rich.
Rich disappeared, and a 15-year-old Pascagoula High teammate died Sunday afternoon following an accident on the Pascagoula River.
According to Jackson County Coroner Vicki Broadus, the teen who died is Caleb Sweeten. Officials said Sweeten, who played football for the Pascagoula Panthers was knee boarding with Rich.
Several barges have been moved and still no signs of Rich. Several others are going to be moved.
The two reportedly got swept into a current and sucked under a barge, authorities said.
Rich wore the number 8 and and is expected to go to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College next year to play football for Steve Campbell and the Bulldogs. Rich not only played football, but he played basketball. He was a big reason for why Pascagoula went to the state championship game against the Starkville Yellow Jackets after making the south-state clinching interception against Pearl River Central.
Sweeten wore the number 39 for the Panthers, and he was expected to be a vital key to the success for the 2013 regular season.
Pascagoula Panther's Football Coach Lewis Sims:
"Panther nation is grieving the loss of two of our own. We just ask for everyone to keep us all in your prayers, especially the families of the two young men involved. Continue to pray for everyone involved, and show them support by doing those things. We were looking forward to having [Caleb] back and looking forward to sending Brandon to Perk so he could excel there. There's still a sliver of hope that [Brandon] is out there. God works in mysterious ways and we can't give up that shred of hope."
Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd said the accident happened in the Pascagoula River just north of the Highway 90 Bridge.
Pascagoula police and DMR Marine Patrol are joining with Jackson County Sheriff's deputies to locate Rich and investigate the incident. Cadaver dogs are also assisting in the search.