What started out as a fun trip for four individuals floating the Leaf River from Highway 84 to Hwy 588 became a search and rescue effort Saturday night in Jones County.
An adult male, adult female, teenage male, and juvenile female became separated during the float down the Leaf River on pool style inflatables on Saturday.
The two females walked out after exiting the river and ended up at a residence on Sandhill Loop Road. A homeowner transported them to a command post established by the Jones County Emergency Management Agency.
The two males were picked up by an off-duty Ellisville Police Department officer using his own personal boat and then transported back to the command post by vehicle. Jones County Sheriff’s Department deputies Brandon Gregory and Brock Avera had hiked from an address on Blackwell Loop along the river bank and were in verbal communication with the pair when they were rescued.
Agencies responding included the Jones County Emergency Management Agency, Jones County Sheriff’s Department, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, and the off-duty Ellisville Police Department police officer (who wished to remain anonymous).
There were no injuries reported to the four individuals or any rescuers.
Paul Sheffield, Jones County EMA Executive Director, served as the Incident Commander. He notes, “The float down the Leaf River from Highway 84 to Highway 588 is a long distance especially on pool style inflatables. Be sure and plan accordingly if attempting a float of that distance.”
Search and rescue operations were completed and personnel back in service at approximately 12:30am on Sunday.