MCMILLIN’S LANDING — Search and rescue teams think they have found the vehicle that entered the Cumberland River in Monroe County on Tuesday night.
The vehicle went into the river around 7 p.m. at the ferry crossing at McMillin’s Landing along Ky. 214. The ferry was on the opposite of the river when the incident occurred.
Thursday marked the second full day of search for the submerged vehicle and its occupants.
“We think we have possibly located the vehicle. We’re pretty sure of that. We are going to tie off and let some divers down to be able to hook to it and be able to get the vehicle up, and then that will give us some idea of who we are looking for and what status we’re at this point,” said David Rich, director of emergency management for Monroe County.
It is not known what type of vehicle that went into the river.
“We don’t know for sure if it was a van or a small SUV. It was something of that effect. It was not car or a truck. It was either a van or an SUV,” he said. “At this point, we don’t know anything other than that except there was an individual that did go into the water and we’ve not been able to locate him.”
Search and rescue teams from Campbellsville, Shepherdsville, Taylor County, Russell County and Monroe County were all on hand on Thursday.
“These people from Russell County and Campbellsville do a lot of lake hunting when there is a body missing. They are really well-versed in the lakes. The fast-moving river poses a little bit more of a problem for everyone,” Rich said.
The water level 10 feet out from the ferry ramp is 20 feet deep.
“It’s about 43 to 44 degrees. The water temperature is. That makes it even (more) difficult,” he said. “ The water is moving at about 8 miles per hour so to put a diver into the water in the complete dark being washed 8 miles per hour down is a concern of getting washed either into the vehicle or into the brush pile. There is a brush pile just behind it.”
Search and rescue teams began looking for the vehicle and its occupants on Tuesday night shortly after the incident happened. They resumed their search on Wednesday a little after daybreak and continued until 8:30 p.m., returning again early Thursday morning.
The search and rescue teams also used sonar on Thursday to help locate the vehicle.
“We do have two boats that are confirmed that they kind of think that they are certain that it is the vehicle,” he said. “Both boats are equipped with really good sonar.”
Rich is hoping the vehicle can be retrieved from the river on Friday. The search for the occupant of the vehicle will also continue on Friday.