UPDATE: Recovery effort for barge worker who fell into Mississippi River ceases until morning
Published 7:15 pm Tuesday, February 7, 2023
NATCHEZ — Emergency personnel were steadily searching for a barge worker who fell into the Mississippi River until about 5:45 p.m. today when the recovery effort stopped because of nightfall.
The search will resume at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten said.
“We have been out there looking since we received the call this morning,” Patten said. “At this time, the search is called off due to lack of sunlight. OSHA is also here to do their investigation and the site will be locked down to civilians and bystanders. We ask that friends and family of this man stay at home and we will update you as the search continues.”
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The accident happened at approximately 4:30 a.m. near the Port of Natchez. Patten said the man was in the area of the Buzzi Unicem USA terminal on L.E. Berry Road when he was attempting to climb a ladder onto a walkway and fell into the river.
The search and rescue effort included the combined work of Adams County Search and Rescue and the Natchez Fire Department, personnel from the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office, and Mississippi and Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries with four boats, drag nets and an ACSO drone with heat-sensing capabilities.
As the day went on, the search and rescue effort became a recovery effort.
“At this time of year, the water is icy cold,” Patten said. “The area where he fell is no less than 25 feet deep and in some places, it gets up to 40 feet deep.”