Body of missing boater recovered at Reservoir - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Police ID recovered Reservoir boater

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Emergency responders were called to the Reservoir around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday to search for Puckett, who was ejected from the boat. Emergency responders were called to the Reservoir around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday to search for Puckett, who was ejected from the boat.
The body of 43-year-old Reggie Puckett, of Florence, was discovered in the water by a sonar device used by the rescue team around 8 a.m. The body of 43-year-old Reggie Puckett, of Florence, was discovered in the water by a sonar device used by the rescue team around 8 a.m.
ROSS BARNETT RESERVOIR (Mississippi News Now) -

The search for a missing boater comes to an end Thursday morning at the Barnett Reservoir after searchers discovered the man's body in the water.

"We came out and stayed last night you know until about 1 a.m., you know just praying for a miracle," said David Cooksey, a close friend to the victim.

Madison County Emergency Management Director Butch Hammack confirms the body of 43-year-old Reggie Puckett, of Florence, was discovered in the water by a sonar device used by the rescue team around 8 a.m.

Emergency responders were called to the Reservoir around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday to search for Puckett, who was ejected from the boat, according to Reservoir Police Chief Perry Waggener.

The boating incident occurred about two miles off of Highway 43. The search for Puckett resumed around 7 a.m. Thursday. The search was called off late Wednesday night when it became too dark for rescuers to work.

"All we know at this point is that it was a boating accident. It occurred about 8:30 [Wednesday] night. They were back in route to Tommy's Trading Post to load their boat up, and from what we understand they hit a stump and then a channel marker," explained Hammack just before the fisherman's body was discovered.

Hammack goes on to say Puckett was then ejected from the vessel.

"The boat went out of control. The passenger was ejected. The driver was not ejected, but he was slightly injured," states Hammack.

Once the emergency call came into authorities, searchers were able to quickly locate the boat and driver.

"We located the driver about 9 o'clock [Wednesday] night, and talked to him to get some information as to what went on and we're going to resume the search for the missing boater [Thursday] morning," confirms Hammack.

While emergency crews searched for Puckett, they were hanging on to a slim chance that the man would be located alive although it was not expected.

"Well there's always that hope," begins Hammack, "the water temperature is in the upper 80s right now, so it is survivable. We're going to send divers out while we've got some daylight to work with and maybe get a better feel for what's going on out there."

"Hopefully we can get some good results out of this thing," stated Hammack just before the search began Thursday.

Authorities aren't sure whether or not Puckett was wearing a life vest at the time of the accident. However, they warn boaters and swimmers who plan to be on the Rez to always make sure they have a life vest on in the water and follow the speed limit on a boat.

Cooksey says Puckett, who he called a brother, loved fishing, hunting and riding motorcycles. To keep his friend's memory alive, the biker said he plans to place a cross near the spot where Puckett's body was found.

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