Coast Guard suspends search for 3 children missing in Mississippi River
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE/Gray News) - The Coast Guard suspended the search for three missing children who plunged into the Mississippi River late Saturday.
The missing children, 14-year-old Brandy Wilson, her 8-year-old sister Berry Wilson and a 15-year-old male friend, were reported entering the water sometime around 7:15 p.m. Saturday near the Crescent City Connection bridge.
The bridge connects the east and west banks of New Orleans, WVUE reports.
“The decision to suspend any search and rescue case is never easy, but considering the extensive search efforts of our Coast Guard men and women, in conjunction with other response agencies, I’ve made the difficult decision to suspend our active search for the three children,” said Capt. Kelly Denning, Coast Guard Sector New Orleans commander. “Our prayers are with the families during this difficult time.”
No one knows why the children entered the river, WVUE reports. But family members believe they were playing near the river when they slipped in.
Rescue crews searched more than 93 miles along the Mississippi River with a combined 55 total hours.
The New Orleans’ Regional Transit Authority suspended service of the Algiers-Canal Street ferry, so the U.S. Coast Guard could use its vessels to search the area.
The rescue crews dispatched to the area included a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and the Coast Guard cutter Sawfish. Three other boat crews from Coast Guard Station New Orleans and the Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team were also dispatched, officials said.
The New Orleans Fire Department and New Orleans police also searched for the missing children.
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