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Search resumes for 5-year-old boy and father lost in river


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    GOLDSBORO, North Carolina (WRAL) — Searches resumed at daylight for a little boy and his father, who fell into the water while fishing along the Neuse River Wednesday night.

Around 8 p.m., emergency crews responded to the Goldsboro Boating Access Area at 2091 U.S. Highway 117 in Goldsboro.

Wayne County officials said the 5-year-old boy and father were on the dock fishing when the child fell into the river. The father jumped in the water and attempted to save the boy, but both went missing.

A witness called 911 while a boater in the river tried to save the two without success.

Multiple search crews responded, including Mar-Mac Water Response, Goldsboro Water Rescue, the Wayne County Sheriff’s Dive Team, the Wayne County Sheriff’s Aviation Unit and Wayne County EMS.

Water rescue underway in Wayne County for missing father and 5-year-old son

Searches continued in the dark for around six hours by boat and then by helicopter. Five boats were utilized in the search in addition to sonar technology because of the lack of light. The search was paused around 2 a.m. and will resume early Thursday.

Joel Gillie with Wayne County Police said the darkness presented issues for the search crews. “There are certainly challenges,” Gillie said late Wednesday night during the search. “Luckily, we do have technology that they can use that sonar for searching, but of course there are more challenges with nighttime. We still have five boats out there right now and that’s still a priority for us.”

A cousin, Rasheda Bryant, said the two love to fish and do it all the time.

“They just bought some new fishing poles, the little boy would get excited about coming out here fishing with his dad and spending time with him like that, so this is tragic,” Bryant said. “They’re both fighters, full of joy, I was just with them last night … so for this to be happening right now seems so unreal.”

Bryant said at least 20 or 30 family members rushed to the dock Wednesday as soon as they learned what happened.

The family is asking for prayers.

“We want to be hopeful,” Bryant said. “There is a God, keep us in your prayers.”

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