Search on Coosa River for missing 15-year-old suspended Thursday

Search on Coosa River for missing 15-year-old suspended Thursday
Rantavious Love

ELMORE CO., AL (WSFA) - The search for the missing 15-year-old on the Coosa River has been suspended Thursday due to weather.

The search resumed Thursday morning for the missing boy, identified by his family as Rantavious Love, who went missing while swimming on the Coosa River Wednesday.

Divers concentrated Wednesday on searching the area of the river just north of Bibb Graves Bridge in Wetumpka. After several hours, the search had to be suspended because of the lack of light.

The search continued around 8 a.m. Thursday. A staging area was set up at Gold Star Park and the state docks across the river. Officials say it was moved to this location for a couple of reasons:

  • More room to accommodate the many agencies searching
  • It's downstream from where the young man was last seen, gives a broader search area.

The family tells WSFA that Love was swimming in the Coosa with three of his friends. One of those friends ran to the police station, just a couple of blocks away, around 4:30 p.m. asking for help.

Officials brought the three friends, who were with Love when he went missing, back to the scene of the incident Thursday. Wednesday the friends told police that Love was walking on a sandbar when the water swept him off his feet and pulled him under.

Officials determined this meant Love may not have gone under in the spot they were searching Wednesday, so the search area was adjusted.

Five search teams comprised of 4-6 people were on the water Thursday morning. Love's family was also close by to receive regular and timely updates on the search.

There was a pavilion area at Gold Star Park where "community members" gathered. They were also being updated on a regular basis.

Wetumpka Fire Chief Greg Willis said the search will still continue but with only about one-third of the resources.

The stream is extremely fast right now, according to Wetumpka Police Department Capt. Robert Sliwowski.

Alabama Power has been draining a lot of water from the Jordan Dam and this has caused water levels to be raised extremely high. Reporter Bethany Davis spoke with Alabama Power earlier this week about the release of a minimum of 2,000 cubic feet per second in the spring and summer.

Just two feet of water can cause an adult to be swept off their feet, officials say.

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