Local dive teams continue search and rescue efforts for 3 children in Miss. River

By WBOK Staff

Monday, April 25, 2022

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Divers from the New Orleans Police Department, St. Charles Parish, St. Tammany Parish, and Southeast Louisiana Underwater Search and Recovery are continuing the search for three children who fell into the Mississippi River on Saturday.

The Coast Guard made the “difficult decision” to suspend their efforts late Sunday evening after searching 93 miles of the river over a 55-hour span to no avail.

A veteran diver who has rescued several missing people in the New Orleans area is participating in dive operations off the Algiers Levee in search of the children.

In spite of treacherous waters, Mark Michoud is among those confident they may be found.

 
Divers from NOPD, St. Charles Parish, and SELA Underwater Search and Recovery prepare to enter...
Divers from NOPD, St. Charles Parish, and SELA Underwater Search and Recovery prepare to enter the Mississippi River in search of three children who disappeared in the waters on Sat., April 23.(WVUE)

Michoud and his team have been searching the river using SONAR. Divers remain tethered to the shore as they swim up to 50 feet out into the rivers. Even though conditions are hazardous, he’s persistent in helping bring the families closure.

“When you don’t know where somebody is, the nightmare never ends,” Michoud says.

It’s not unheard of for children to play by the river, but relatives of these kids say this was one of the only times they left home.

 

“These are three kids that never off, given the way New Orleans is,” aunt Keyaka Davis says. “This time we just let them go off and play.”

Divers from NOPD, St. Charles Parish, and SELA Underwater Search and Recovery prepare to enter...
Divers from NOPD, St. Charles Parish, and SELA Underwater Search and Recovery prepare to enter the Mississippi River in search of three children who disappeared in the waters on Sat., April 23.(WVUE)

“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.”

Family members of two of the children identified the kids as 14-year-old Brandy Wilson, her 8-year-old sister Ally Berry Wilson, and a 15-year-old male friend. All three were last seen entering the water near the Crescent City Connection. 

They believe the children were playing near the river when Brandy slipped in. The male friend reportedly jumped in to save Brandy, and her 8-year-old sister followed. All three went under the swift Mississippi River current.

“These are children,” Davis says. “We’re calling them our little angels now.”

14-year-old Brandy Wilson
14-year-old Brandy Wilson(Family)
8-year-old Ally Berry Wilson
8-year-old Ally Berry Wilson(Family)
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Michoud says wherever there’s a safe place to dive, he and his team will go after it. For now, the waiting game and the underwater search continue. So far, no signs of the children have been found.

 

RELATED STORIES

‘We are hurt’: Family of the 3 missing children hoping for good news as search continues

3 children missing after plunging into Mississippi River, Coast Guard says

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