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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Rain still a problem in search for Putnam County kayaker

Saturday, April 23, 2011

REELSVILLLE---- While the rain cleared up on Friday search teams were able to resume looking for a missing kayaker on Big Walnut Creek.

Reelsville Fire Chief John McPherson said that David Pritchett, 48, likely launched his kayak along the Maiden's Branch tributary Tuesday evening.

McPherson said volunteers were able to search from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. when rains started up again.

"We were able to do a search from the point of entry to the U.S. 40 bridge and back," he said.

McPherson said that conservation officers involved in the search were able to get on the water again Friday, using air boats.

He said that the search is going over the same areas as the water recedes, to see if any of the newly exposed areas reveal anything.

McPherson said chances to search further are dependent on the weather, with more rain forecast for the next few days.

"Five to six feet (of water in Big Walnut Creek) is looking to be the max as far as in depth searches goes," McPherson said. "We can still do some searches along the bank, though."

With the bad weather combining with Easter, McPherson said that the next chance for in depth searching would likely be Monday or Tuesday. He emphasized that the search would continue until Pritchett was found.

"We've had some professional search groups offer to help, so we're looking to expand the search," he said.

The search group already contains firefighters from Reelsville, Greencastle, Cloverdale, Madison Township, conservation officers and friends and family of Pritchett.

Lt. Kent Hutchins, commander of District Five Conservation Officers, said with rain being forecast for the next five days and flood levels in some areas predicted to be as significant as during the June 2008 flood, the recovery effort is likely to be a lengthy endeavor.

"Although we possess some of the best sonar and other technologies available and are staffed with highly trained officers with extensive experience in water-related recoveries, technology in this case is of very little value. This will ultimately require a great deal of patience."

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My heart is going out for his family!!!! I know the crews have searched and are dedicated to finding him however it just seems as though there could be more we could do!

-- Posted by ithappens33 on Sat, Apr 23, 2011, at 9:20 AM

Prayers for David. We are all praying they find you safe.

-- Posted by TLB on Sat, Apr 23, 2011, at 3:41 PM

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