Jumper still missing after 4-day search

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.- It all started Friday evening, after someone reported two people jumping from pedestrian bridge over the Barren River.

Two people jumped twice from the bridge. While one swam back to safety after the second jump, the search continues for the other. At this point, the search is no longer a rescue effort. It is a recovery.

The Bowling Green Fire Department along with other agencies took to the waters to continue the search Monday.

“We took our boats down there and did everything that we were capable of and then called in other resources very quickly to help in that search for him,” said Bowling Green Fire Department spokeswoman Marlee Boenig.

Joining in was the Richardville Fire Department, Campbellsville Fire Rescue and Warren County Emergency Management. Before starting the search, all safety personnel need to be prepared for all scenarios.

“Everybody must have some type of flotation device on. Most of the people operating on the water have a helmet with them in case something happens while they’re on the watercraft. Each person has a safety member on each boat,” said Warren County Emergency Management deputy director Travis Puckett.

Even on the calmest of days, water rescue efforts have a lot of challenges, which can be traced back to the area in and around the water.

“Where he was seen jumping from, is below the rocks there. The rocks present a very unique danger. If you’re in a boat and you go over that, you’re likely going to capsize the boat. We certainly don’t want people in that area,” Boenig said.

The currents can also be an added challenge to the search. Warren County Emergency Management members say even on day four, finding the person is a team effort.

“We’re uncertain on where the body is due to the swiftness of the current and the changes in depth. That’s why we’ve been out here multiple days with multiple different boats and sonars to better increase our chances of a successful recovery,” Puckett said.

The Bowling Green Fire Department pulled out of the search at 2:30 p.m. Monday and Emergency Management followed suit shortly after at 3:15. Warren County Emergency Management will take over the recovery effort.