Search continues for missing Walker County boater - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Search continues for missing Walker County boater

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Danny McCleskey. Source: WBRC video Danny McCleskey. Source: WBRC video
The search for Danny McCleskey continued on the Black Warrior River on Monday. Source: WBRC video The search for Danny McCleskey continued on the Black Warrior River on Monday. Source: WBRC video
Search crews plan to return on Tuesday. Source: WBRC video Search crews plan to return on Tuesday. Source: WBRC video
WALKER COUNTY, AL (WBRC) -

The search for a missing Walker County man continued into the third day. Danny McCleskey, 53, was last seen Saturday night when he was working on a boat on the Black Warrior River.

Crews searched a stretch of the river near the Tutwiller community on Monday.

According to his daughter, McCleskey fell overboard while trying to attach a light to a crane. She says another person on the boat tried to throw a rope to him, but her father couldn't get to it and went under.

"What we've been told, he was trying to change a light, out, and he stepped up high on where his lift was and when he stepped down, he hit a a barrel and rolled and fell off at that point," Tom Grubbs, deputy director for the Winston County EMA, said.

Grubbs said even though McCleskey was a good swimmer and reportedly in good shape, they believe he hit his head when he fell off.

The biggest challenge for crews is trying to pinpoint the location where McCleskey is believed to have gone under the water. One rescue worker described it as trying to find a needle in a haystack, but first they have to determine which haystack to look in.

Nearly 20 people from five different agencies helped search for McCleskey on Monday. The river's width posed a major challenge for the search crews.

"This river is probably four football fields wide in the narrowest of places and wider than that and we're searching a three, three and a half mile area. So we just don't have a pinpoint. We're kind of in the dark," Grubbs said.

Crews used everything they had in the search: sonar, steel drags and cadaver dogs, which can pick up on enzymes and fumes from the boat.

"If the cadaver dog hits on something good or we see something on the side sonar scan, we'll mark it and put a diver down. But unless we find a spot, its so wide, no way divers can search that area," Grubbs explained.

Search crews will continue to search on Tuesday and may add a second crew with a cadaver dog to help.

McCleskey's daughter was at the scene on Monday, but declined to comment until her father has been found.

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