This weekend was a sad one for the residents of Pascagoula, Mississippi. The bodies of two high school boys that had been kneeboarding on the Pascagoula River were found, due to the work of cadaver dogs and a team of commercial rescue divers.
An article in the Sun Herald explained that two victims, Brandon Rich and Caleb Sweeten, along with another person, were boating and kneeboarding on the river on Sunday, May 5. Investigators believe that one of the boys was pulled underwater by the strong current, and the other likely went to help him. The body of Sweetan was found near a barge about 45 minutes after the accident.
To find Rich, the Department of Marine Resources and the Gulf Coast Search and Rescue, along with a 28-foot diving boat, searched throughout the river on Sunday and Monday. At about 12:30 p.m. on Monday, one cadaver dog alerted the police that there was a body underneath a tugboat, and divers were sent down. At about 4 p.m., Rich's body was found.
"It's very dangerous on the water," Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd said to the news source. "You just have to be aware of what is going on when you have torrential rains. Rivers are going to rise. The currents are going to get faster. It's sad and it's unfortunate these things happen in this community."
Though this incident ended in a tragic way, it does stress both the value and importance of commercial divers. For anyone who engages in commercial diving, diving insurance can act as extra protection during the busy summer months.