Search for missing hunters enters Day 9, likelihood of rescue becoming ‘less and less likely’

Updated: Dec. 11, 2020 at 7:20 PM CST
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WARREN COUNTY, Miss. (WLBT) - The search continued for 16-year old Gunner Palmer and 21-year old Zeb Hughes on the Mississippi River Friday.

The two from Copiah County went missing last week when their boat capsized near Middle Ground Island.

Friday, Sheriff Martin Pace said, “We never want to give up hope, we never want to say that a rescue is not possible but with every hour and every day that passes the likelihood of a rescue becomes less and less likely.”

Pace says he will not give up the search until he can provide answers for the families of the hunters.

The ground search was called off after every area they could possibly be was covered. Multiple boats were in the water Friday using sonar looking in and on the water’s surface.

Sheriff Pace said, “The method that we’re using is we’ll have an observer who is actually watching the surface of the water, they’re watching the banks. They’re doing everything you can visually, then we have another operator that is watching the screen on the sonar which is showing what’s on the bottom.”

Search crews in boats were launched as far south as Natchez, but still no sign of the hunters. Since their capsized boat, life jackets and other belongings were found last week, there haven’t been any other clues found to indicate where the hunters may be.

With the swift current in the Mississippi River, searchers also don’t know how far south they may have traveled.

· Day 8: Crews perform surface and sonar patrol of Mississippi River in search for missing hunters

· Ground search suspended after week-long effort for missing hunters

· Day 5: Crews, family not giving up search for any trace of 2 missing duck hunters

· Day 4: Search continues for missing duck hunters in Warren Co.

· Warren Co. officials search on land and water for two missing duck hunters after their boat was found overturned

· Boat found on Miss. River believed to belong to missing man, teenager

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