Wewahitchka Search Update

By: Mike Tolbert
By: Mike Tolbert

Again, the Gulf County Sheriff's Office search dog Zeus alerted crews to the same area near where the Jeffrey Walter Holmes' empty boat was found.

Search teams combed the area, turning up nothing. As the search moves into day four, rising water levels make things even more difficult.

"What happens is every time you have high water, it moves more and more debris down into the curves and bends and just literally stacks it up in there and that's what we're working against,” says Don Minchew, of Wewa Search and Rescue.

Twenty-nine-year-old Jeffrey Walter Holmes vanished Tuesday after he went fishing and hunting that morning on the Chipola River near Wewa.

Three days later, the search for Holmes continues and crews are now running out of needed supplies. Officials say they are in desperate need of 3/8-inch nylon rope. They’re also asking for monetary donations to buy dragging equipment.

Crews have also asked for food and drinks such as chips, cookies and coffee. Plates and dishes would also help. Boat crews hope to search throughout the night on Thursday but plan on being stopped by the weather.

“We'll maintain a river patrol tonight as long as the fog will let us. Last night it stopped us at about 1:30 a.m., 2 a.m., somewhere in that neighborhood, and we're looking for fog again tonight the way it looks on the river,” Minchew explains.

Friday morning, they'll use Zeus to make sure they're still in the right place and then divers will continue their work.

Crews ask anyone who can provide those needed supplies to bring them to the land's landing in Wewa. That's where officials have set up rescue operations.


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