News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news
SUNDAY, JULY 29, 2007

Rescuers end day 2 of search for swimmer

By Bayne Hughes · 340-2432

An approaching thunderstorm ended the second day of an unfruitful search Saturday for a man lost in the Tennessee River about one mile east of Ditto Landing.

According to William Szczepanski of the Morgan County Rescue Squad, a man in his mid-20s jumped out of a boat Friday night at about 7:15 to go swimming and did not come back to the boat. Authorities have not released his name.

Huntsville Emergency Medical Services Inc., Huntsville Fire Department, Alabama Marine Police and the Morgan and Madison county rescue squads were searching the south side of the river in northeast Morgan County. Ditto Landing is in Madison County.

They set up a command post at Whitesburg Boat and Yacht Club, east of Ditto Landing.

“The HEMSI dive team has been in the water, but there are a lot of sticks and stumps to get caught on down there, and one of their divers actually got caught when they were down. So it’s a very hazardous situation,” Szczepanski said.

Divers got out of the water at about 11 p.m. on Friday, and the search resumed at 6 a.m. on Saturday. The search continued until about 4 p.m. Searchers did not return after the storm because of darkness and the dangerous river bottom.

Szczepanski said the search would resume Sunday morning.

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