MADISON, Miss. (WLBT) - Family and friends are dealing with the loss of three people who drowned Sunday night in Madison County.
Family of the victims say the boat flipped near a landfill on North County Line Road. Madison County Coroner Alex Breeland identified two of the three victims as 16-year-old Jaquarius Polk and 38-year-old Bobby Ray Gooden.
The identity of the third victim will be released following the notification of next of kin.
“It was frantic up on the road because some of the parents and some of the friends were outside of the taped off area so you can tell the since of urgency,” said Marcus Buffington.
Buffington is a part of the Hinds County Dive Team who was sent to help aid at the scene.
Family members say 16-year-old Jaquarius Polk, 38-year-old Bobby Ray Gooden and another friend were fishing when their line got stuck on something in the water.
When they got on a boat to free the line, they say the boat flipped over.
“They could have lost their breath, they could’ve taken in a big gulp of water. It’s a scary situation,” said Buffington. “The first person we found was in 15 to 20 foot of water.”
Buffington says that although the job is challenging, it was vital that he and other agencies work together to recover these drowning victims after such a tragic accident.
“Pretty much we knew it was a recovery instead of a rescue. We knew that they were probably deceased and we tried to get them out as quickly as possible so the family could have some closure," he said. "You don’t know what’s in the water because, generally speaking, in that kind of farm pond they were in, it was full of snags and limbs, and logs.
"Any advice I can give is if you can’t swim, wear a life jacket. If you can swim and you’re in a tedious situation like that, still wear a life jacket and be cognizant of your surroundings,” he continued.