JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - For those who know Justin Perkins -- like his pastor Jim Ellis -- they are left shaken after learning he went underwater yesterday around lunch time and never came back up.
“I was shocked. He was a stout man, a strong man, a member of our church, a good member or our church, a family man,” Ellis said.
Monday was Day 2 of the search. Rankin County Emergency Management Agency Director Mike Word says, to this point, the search has been challenging.
Sunday’s winds made the water choppy and cold temperatures made it hard on divers’ bodies.
We put a Go Pro on Reservoir Fire Department diver and firefighter Michael Price to see what the visibility was like.
When asked if it was safe to say that visibility, at least from the surface, is less than a foot, Price replied, “Yep…… Zero.”
Zero visibility in that extensive body of water.
“You’re trying to go find a human, a person on the Ross Barnett Reservoir and all we have is just ‘It’s in the main lake,’ and so just thing about that," said Word. "That’s a huge huge area.”
Monday, search boats worked a grid pattern, covering as much of the floor of the reservoir as possible.
“We have eight boats with sonar on them and these guys are about 60 feet apart on these boats and they’re shooting their sonar on both sides, so we’re getting a huge swath of the Ross Barnett Reservoir, ground imaging is what we’re doing,” he said.
Word says first responders will be out again Tuesday morning bright and early. And they won’t stop until there’s resolution for Perkins’ family.
“We’ll come back tomorrow and we’ll hit it again. We’re not going to give up on this thing, and at some point we’re going to be able to get this recovery done,” Word said.