Search Underway For Missing Pascagoula Fisherman

A massive search is underway for a Pascagoula man who went fishing Tuesday and never returned. The Jackson County Sheriff's Department says 64-year-old Oliver Jones launched his boat near Shingle Mill Landing in the Orange Grove Community.

Wednesday evening, Sheriff Byrd told WLOX News that search dogs had traced the scent of a man. They're focused on a 50 yard area, but have not found anything yet.

As rescue teams searched the Escatawpa River, family and friends packed the shoreline Wednesday afternoon. Jones' daughters, Linda Howie and Carolyn Cruz, were among the group of loved ones waiting and praying.

"He is like the rock of the family," Howie said. "We are going to keep the faith, and we are asking everyone to pray."

"He is on dialyses, he is a diabetic and he has lupus. It is just a number of things. He is in bad health," Cruz said.

Family members say Jones headed out on the water Tuesday for a relaxing fishing trip, but by 6:30 that night, he hadn't returned. That's when the Jackson County Sheriff's Department was called in to help. Within hours, Sheriff Mike Byrd's team found the missing man's boat.

"The boat was actually found in Black Creek. It was partially submerged," Sheriff Byrd said.

The sheriff says other law enforcement agencies are helping with the search.

"We have Lamar County's emergency rescue service here and they are assisting us right now. We have a helicopters in the air, they are searching too," Byrd said.

Sheriff Byrd says he is also requesting more search and rescue dogs to help look for Jones.

As the search continues, Jones' wife Mary and other family members wait and hope.

"I do not know if he is alive or dead," Mary Jones said. "I am hoping he is alive."