Family grieves after man drowns in Wolf River

Miles Spear drowned in the Wolf River Thursday.
Miles Spear drowned in the Wolf River Thursday.(Photo Source: Ryan Spear)
Updated: Jul. 17, 2020 at 5:23 PM CDT
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HARRISON COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - A family is mourning the loss of a young man who drowned in the Wolf River in Harrison County.

The body of Miles Spear, 24, of Bay St. Louis was recovered early Friday morning.

“He helped everybody. Anyone that knows him will tell you that. That he helped them. He was kind. He loved God,” said Spear’s brother Ryan Spear.

Spear's life was cut short Thursday after a swimming outing with friends turned tragic.

“Complete accident, I’m sure. He was out here trying to have fun when things just went wrong,” Ryan said.

The group of five was swimming in the Wolf River near the Bells Ferry Bridge when they all got caught up in strong currents. Spear went underwater and never resurfaced.

Recovery attempts began immediately, but the search was called off as night fell.

Crews returned Friday morning and found Spear’s body about 150 yards downriver from the bridge.

“Got out at first light and started doing our search again, and within an hour we were able to locate him,” said Chief Pat Sullivan with Harrison County Fire Rescue.

Spear's family is heartbroken by the devastating loss.

“He was an aspiring rapper. He wanted to rap. I got a lot of his songs on my phone. Sent me some last week. I just talked to him a few days ago. He said he was going to come see me, but he never did,” Spear said.

The swimming hole at the Wolf River has been the site of several drownings, including one a little over a year ago when 18-year-old Peyton Henson was also pulled under the water by strong currents.

Spear’s brother is sending this message to others.

“People shouldn’t be over here swimming at all anyways. Get in a swimming pool, go to the beach. Stay out of these rivers. I mean, it’s real dangerous out here. Be careful because it could be anybody’s loved one,” he said.

Crews from the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office, Department of Marine Resources, Harrison County Fire Service, and the Gulfport Fire Service assisted in the recovery efforts.

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