‘Geaux Rescue’ assists in search, recovery of boater

by Barbara Atwill

A Fulton County resident was reported missing June 25 after his 16’ boat was located on the bank running at full speed, with no one on board, about a mile from Number 8 Island boat ramp in Fulton County, on the Mississippi River.
The Fulton County Sheriff's Department contacted family members and confirmed Jason Jowers, 48, had gone fishing alone, earlier in the day.

Geaux Rescue West Kentucky/Tennessee team leader, Jay Black of Hickman, took the lead with Geaux Rescue resources. Geaux Rescue is a voluntary civilian search and rescue, specializing in missing persons with an emphasis on Alzheimer's, Dementia, Autistic and Veterans' cases, drownings and natural disaster rescue.
“George Ruiz, President of Geaux Rescue of Alabama, worked with the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office to come up with a plan with two possible hotspots due to the river's temperature, where we thought Mr. Jowers might be. At the time the search started, the conditions of the river caused safety concerns. Only local team members that know the area and its hazards searched. Safety is our number one priority and we would call other teams that have worked with us in the past to see if their resources were available,” Black said.

A search party left the Elvis J. Stahr Harbor in Hickman at 7 a.m. June 27, with three boats and a fourth boat arrived at the scene later, with one boat searching the left side, one in the center of the river and one the right side of the river.

Jowers’ body was recovered at approximately 9 a.m. June 27, approximately four miles from where his boat had been located, and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife and Fulton County Dispatch were contacted.

“It’s never the outcome we want, but to be able to bring closure for the family means a lot. If we would have waited another day it wouldn’t have turned out so good and the odds would have been very slim on locating him,” Black said.

Others helping in the search were James Bridges, J.T. West, Doug Perez, William Blaylock, Preston Buchanan, Michael Parker, and Clay Jones.