Missing woman now presumed dead after Sunday boat crash in Mississippi River
ST. FRANCISVILLE - A woman who disappeared after a boating accident in the Mississippi River over the Memorial Day weekend is now believed to be dead as authorities transition their search into recovery efforts.
According to the West Feliciana Parish Sheriff's Office, a passing towboat first discovered the crash, which happened downstream of the St. Francisville riverfront around 9 p.m. Sunday.
The boat operator, 37-year-old Anthony Bain, was airlifted from the waterway and remains hospitalized Monday.
Deputies searched the river for the missing passenger, 38-year-old Rachel Hann of St. Francisville, and continued that search the following morning. Monday evening, the sheriff's office said their goal now is to recover her remains.
“After approximately 20 hours of continuous searching we’re now transitioning from a rescue operation to a recovery,” Sheriff Brian Spillman said in a statement. “We feel confident that we’ve covered the water surface and river banks in a large enough area that we would have discovered Ms. Hann, if she survived the crash. These are difficult decisions, but we’ve utilized boats, drones and helicopters in our grid searches and, after consulting with her family, we will now continue daylight searches in hopes of a recovery."
Law enforcement is still investigating what caused the crash.
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