Search and rescue personnel are not giving up hope

Search and rescue personnel are not giving up hope
Family members urge anyone with information to contact authorities. (Photo source: WLOX News)
Family members urge anyone with information to contact authorities. (Photo source: WLOX News)

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Before heading out onto the water, a prayer is said and then a game plan is laid out. Every possible angle is studied.

"The calmer the seas are the more area we can cover faster, and that's what is important to us right now is being able to cover large areas," Department of Marine Resources Chief Keith Davis said.

The water temperature is 70 degrees, and Davis says that's good news for search and rescue operations for Monday's plane crash.

"It's favorable. Certainly an individual can survive in these water conditions so we're still hopeful as we were yesterday," Davis added.

Davis tried to comfort family members looking for answers as much as possible.

"I have spoken to the Coast Guard and they are certainly keeping the family abreast of our investigation," Davis noted.

Wreckage from the crash began washing ashore on Belle Fontaine Beach in Ocean Springs on Wednesday. Officials say crews are now finding debris from the plane crash in Graveline Bayou.

As officials near the end of the second full day of searching for the three missing men, officials involved with the search parties are urging anyone with information, or anyone who has seen anything at all in the waters of the Mississippi Sound, to contact authorities.

Because if it was me, I would like to be found too. There's no sense in just letting it go," said Paul Donnelly, who contacted officials after he thought he may have found evidence.

The object he spotted turned out to be a piece of house siding, but Donnelly says he won't stop looking.

"We check every once in awhile. We do have to work, but we come down here and check and go back to work," Donnelly said.

As the search and rescue operation continues, Davis is prepared to bring in more manpower if needed.

"I have spoken to the Commissioner of Public safety, and the governor, who has committed all assets that we need so well certainly put everything that we have towards this investigation."

During a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Coast Guard officials reiterated that no sign of survivors has been found, but rescue mission continues. The search areas stretches out over more than 1,700 square miles.

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