Search and rescue crews may have found boat belonging to missing boaters in Pearl River

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Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office

BOGALUSA, La. (BRPROUD) – It has been one week since 50-year-old Joseph Newby, of Franklinton was found by search and rescue crews.

A search ensued for a second missing boater identified as 47-year-old Eric Josh Williams, of Holden.

Members of the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Louisiana Division of Wildlife and Fisheries conducted a week long search for the missing boater on the Pearl River.

As of 8 a.m. on Monday, December 6, crews have not been able to find Eric Josh Williams.

According to the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office, “Utilizing sonar provided by the Cajun Navy, officers have been able to locate what is believed to be the boat occupied by Williams and Newby.”

The boat was found on the bottom of the Pearl River.

“Due to the location of the boat on the river bottom below the Poole’s Bluff sill, and the very swift and dangerous turbulent water at that location, officers have been unable to attach cables to the boat and bring it to shore,” according to the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office.

The plan is to seek help from the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

WPSO says, “The Corps maintains the sill and it is believed they perhaps have a barge capable of navigating the river to the site immediately below the sill.”

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