MDWFP conducts swift water rescues in Pearl River County
5/14/2019 8:21:55 AM

Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks conservation officers were pressed into service this past Saturday by flash flooding in Pearl River County in South Mississippi.

“Some people don’t realize the depth of training our officers go through,” Chief of MDWFP’s Law Enforcement Bureau Colonel Steve Adcock said. “Swift water rescue is one of many disciplines our officers are trained.”

At about 6:00 a.m. Officer Bryant Deschamp received his first call and responded to Oak Hill Road, where a female victim and two rescuers stranded. The female was trying to cross a bridge and the high water swept her vehicle into a nearby pond. Before Officer Deschamp arrived, two local men were able to reach and safely get her into their rescue boat. However, the boat’s motor broke down and all three were stranded when the disabled boat was trapped in a log jam. Officer Deschamp arrived with his patrol boat and launched it in the flood waters. He was able to rescue all three victims and their boat.

Then about 7:00 a.m. got a second call about a stranded father and son who had been camping near Red Creek near Loyde Ladner Road. The victims' vehicle was submerged in rising flood waters but were able to escape to higher ground. MDWFP Officers Deschamp, Patrick Rush, and Forest Service Officer E.J. Bane responded. After they arrived at the scene, the officers had to wade down a flooded forest service road in waist-deep waters to reach the victims. The officers placed life jackets on the victims and walked them back to the officers’ patrol vehicles through the flood waters. The victim’s vehicle was unrecoverable and was left behind. Officers Deschamp and Rush carried the victims to a safe location to be reunited with their families.

“Our officers are second to none when it comes to their commitment to serve and protect the citizens of Mississippi or our visitors,” Col. Adcock added.


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