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Missing boy in POC

16,196 Views | 75 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by mAgnoliAg
O.G.
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WaldoWings said:

TXCAV said:

I'm a hunting/fishing guide and grew up on the water, USCG Capt. I have personally also ran up on barges in the dark. It's easier than you think. Those barges when empty will tower over a small vessel. Yes they are required to have navigation lights, one red on port (left), one green starboard (right) and a white mast head light on the tug. The problem being is that even with normal visibility levels at night, no fog/rain/exc, when you are approaching a vessel of that size head on, the navigation lights of the barge may not easily be visible due to how high out of the water and how far apart the lights are. The lights will be mounted in the corner of the barge. The average barge can be <150ft long by <25ft wide, and when empty the top deck can be over 10ft above the water. A standard barge is 195' x 35'. For reference the average small vessel is less than 6ft wide. In the dark is it difficult to judge the distance at which the light is. I have seen double longs, double wides, and triples being pushed down the ICW. The tug is required to keep a watchstander 24/7 while the vessel is on the water. Should the watchstander see the vessel approaching and not giving way, they will use the massive spotlight and horn to get their attention.

Lately there has been a lot of boats headed out in the dark without running proper navigation lights, especially from duck hunters. Not sure behind their reasoning behind that, but its extremely dangerous. The one thing that remains the same from all these terrible incidents, as far as I know, no one was wearing their PFD. While a PFD may not save your life in the event of a catastrophic boating accident, it will make your body easier to recover. You may die from impact, propeller, exposure, exc, but your friends and family will have closure. No one is waterproof, it can happen to any one, and it has happened to the best of them. Be safe out on the water. Boater's education should be as heavily enforced and regulated as hunter's ed and a driving license.


Great post!

Being an inlander can someone explain what role barges play in shipping? Like, typically where they are coming from and going to and what they are transporting along the Texas coast?
Working near the Illinois, MO & MS river and I see tons of corn/soy beans that get sent down the river. It goes to various locations along the way. Some all the way to New Orleans where its loaded on bigger ships and taken over seas.

Rail gets a fair amount of it, but I'd guess that barges move more, at least in this area.
Aggieangler93
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Jack Squat 83 said:

I'll ask the dumb question and I know it would add costs, but why don't the light the damn things up? If the non-effective lights are UNDERWATER when loaded, that is crazy. It would be just like a super-wide 18-wheeler driving down a 2 lane highway with the lights turned off. Makes no sense to me.

Are the accidents just so rare it's not worth a fix?
I think it is a good question, and I am just guessing here....

I would expect this would have to do with the ability to engineer a light that would be functional in the conditions we are talking about. Sometimes you have barges stacked two wide, other times two wide, and 2 long. Other times single wide and 3 long. Maybe since the advent of LED lighting that can be color selectable, this may be possible. I think many barges are much lower tech if it's used to haul gravel etc. Maybe something more like a linear light on the sides and corners that spans from top to bottom? But it would have to be the correct color of red or green I guess. i don't know if blue would be allowed.

I would imagine the accidents with them are very infrequent (probably less than 1%) in comparison to how many move up and down the ICW and inland waters daily, so it is not an issue that the Coast Guard or USACOE is going to attempt to regulate. I would also imagine there would be a lot of pushback from barge owners over the increased burden of keeping these lights working and paying to retrofit their vessels with them. The technology 10 years ago probably wasn't really there to do it, but it would be nice if all barges manufactured from a set date onwards where required to have them, provided they can be created and proven to work reliably over time.

We have some folks on the OB that work closely with barges etc, perhaps they can shed some light on difficulties with implementing more lighting, that I am not thinking of. Again, I am just a guy that has run small boats (under 25 feet) at the coast for 30 years or so. I am not a captain of a tug or push boat and I am certainly not qualified to make any kind of official answers. I would expect they spend the money necessary to comply with shipping regulations and laws, and then don't give it much thought beyond that. Their vessels would be expected to have radar, and probably extremely rarely encounter issues with striking other vessels due to unlit vessels.

BUT I also do not think any fault here was on the barge operator. They weren't the ones running in conditions with poor visibility and no radar. They have radar normally from what I have seen and when pulling or pushing something that long, I can see why they do.
Class of '93 - proud Dad of a '22 grad and a '26 student!
Aggieangler93
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In fishing around the Victoria Barge Canal, we see lots of Acetylene, other chemicals, and gravels from time to time. Kirby reports that a single inland tanker barge barge can hold as much as 46 rail cars, or 144 tanker trucks. That's a massive savings and is much safer on water than over land. They also note that a gallon of fuel can move a ton of material 675 miles by barge, 472 miles by railcar, or 151 miles by truck. So the break of bulk concept factors strongly into why barges are used where they are as much as possible.
Class of '93 - proud Dad of a '22 grad and a '26 student!
Stat Monitor Repairman
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Lighting up a barge sounds like a good idea in theory but it's not a good idea in practice.

When you navigating a commercial vessel at night, you don't want a bunch of extraneous lighting. In an ideal situation, when you look out of the pilothouse all you want to see is black. You especially don't want to see any lights coming back at you from your own vessel. It's disorienting when trying to identify other vessels and it also messes up your night vision.

Also, lighting up a barge while in navigation can also cause confusion with respect to other mariners that are looking at your nav lights trying to figure out what you are, and what you are doing. Extra lighting blends in with lights on shore and causes confusion.

This type of incident happens a lot but there's not more that be done from the barge operators perspective. Keeping track of what recreational vessels are doing is low priority. A towboat pushing barges will almost always have the right of way with respect to a smaller vessel.
fullback44
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Stat Monitor Repairman said:

Lighting up a barge sounds like a good idea in theory but it's not a good idea in practice.

When you navigating a commercial vessel at night, you don't want a bunch of extraneous lighting. In an ideal situation, when you look out of the pilothouse all you want to see is black. You especially don't want to see any lights coming back at you from your own vessel. It's disorienting when trying to identify other vessels and it also messes up your night vision.

Also, lighting up a barge while in navigation can also cause confusion with respect to other mariners that are looking at your nav lights trying to figure out what you are, and what you are doing. Extra lighting blends in with lights on shore and causes confusion.

This type of incident happens a lot but there's not more that be done from the barge operators perspective. Keeping track of what recreational vessels are doing is low priority. A towboat pushing barges will almost always have the right of way with respect to a smaller vessel.


Great Insight .. did not think about the need to keep things dark so the commercial pilots can see out in front of There vessels … makes a lot of sense
DargelSkout
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Good info. I almost had an incident with another boat at night because of wind turbine lights on shore. I was heading to a cabin in Baffin and another boat was heading north. I didn't see his lights until the last minute as his red nav light blended in with all the red flashing lights on shore. Scared the hell outta me for a minute.
WaldoWings
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CS78 said:




Wow! So they can go pretty far out. I was reading about them and saw they are not meant for open seas but I guess the gulf is calm enough. Thanks for the pic.

Also I will stop with these questions now. I know this thread is for that missing boy. Gosh, prayers for him and his family.
BowSowy
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There are definitely barges meant for open sea transportation. We use them often for offshore structures.
schmellba99
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Aggieangler93 said:

In fishing around the Victoria Barge Canal, we see lots of Acetylene, other chemicals, and gravels from time to time. Kirby reports that a single inland tanker barge barge can hold as much as 46 rail cars, or 144 tanker trucks. That's a massive savings and is much safer on water than over land. They also note that a gallon of fuel can move a ton of material 675 miles by barge, 472 miles by railcar, or 151 miles by truck. So the break of bulk concept factors strongly into why barges are used where they are as much as possible.
I would like to see the math on these numbers
DDSO
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schmellba99 said:

Aggieangler93 said:

In fishing around the Victoria Barge Canal, we see lots of Acetylene, other chemicals, and gravels from time to time. Kirby reports that a single inland tanker barge barge can hold as much as 46 rail cars, or 144 tanker trucks. That's a massive savings and is much safer on water than over land. They also note that a gallon of fuel can move a ton of material 675 miles by barge, 472 miles by railcar, or 151 miles by truck. So the break of bulk concept factors strongly into why barges are used where they are as much as possible.
I would like to see the math on these numbers
Removed because I can't read.
TommyGun
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Stat Monitor Repairman said:

Lighting up a barge sounds like a good idea in theory but it's not a good idea in practice.

When you navigating a commercial vessel at night, you don't want a bunch of extraneous lighting. In an ideal situation, when you look out of the pilothouse all you want to see is black. You especially don't want to see any lights coming back at you from your own vessel. It's disorienting when trying to identify other vessels and it also messes up your night vision.

Also, lighting up a barge while in navigation can also cause confusion with respect to other mariners that are looking at your nav lights trying to figure out what you are, and what you are doing. Extra lighting blends in with lights on shore and causes confusion.

This type of incident happens a lot but there's not more that be done from the barge operators perspective. Keeping track of what recreational vessels are doing is low priority. A towboat pushing barges will almost always have the right of way with respect to a smaller vessel.


Good post. I grew up on the water and fished out of Trinity Bay and the North end of Galveston Bay. Barge traffic is very heavy in this area along the channel and coming in and out of Cedar Bayou. We were running out of Cedar Bayou one morning and were coming up to the mouth of the bayou where it meets the Trinity and there was a barge parked just off the channel that had work lights strung along it's sides. I guess they were doing some deck work as it was out of commission. None of us considered it to be a barge and thought it was a loading dock.

We did not have any navigation on the boat other than a compass (pre GPS days) and so we were working off of memory of the bayou channel and knew there was a loading dock ahead of us and we would need to make a hard right turn to follow the bend in the channel. The problem was this empty barge was parked about 200 yards in front of the loading dock and in the misty pre-sunrise hours it just blended in altogether. So we started to make our right turn and then all of the sudden everything went pitch black and the four of us in the boat realized at the same time we were headed straight for ground and about to hit a raised embankment. My dad yanked the throttle back and the shallow mud slowed us down enough to get the boat to a stop. We narrowly avoided the collision, but it was a scary moment for us to realize how much we had been deceived by what we were seeing and realizing how things could have turned out much worse.

CS78
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151 miles per ton. 20 ton load comes to 7.5mpg. No clue if that's accurate.
DDSO
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CS78 said:

151 miles per ton. 20 ton load comes to 7.5mpg. No clue if that's accurate.
Gotcha. I said I would probably mess that up.
ABATTBQ11
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Here's a good video on ship lighting for anyone interested. If you like ships or are just curious about them, I highly recommend this channel. It's very interesting, in depth, and is very well produced.

AustinCountyAg
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fullback44 said:

We went fishing one morning out of goose island .. it was foggy and we heard the fog horns of the tugs so we dropped anchor about 5 ft from a rocky / shale shore and just waited …. A boat shot by us at 30-40 mph in the fog playing music and talking… we heard them coming form
A ways off, it was very quiet that morning …. I don't go out in foggy weather anymore .. they were probably 10-15 feet from us …. People need to respect the night and fog and not just run on GPS .. it's.not smart

I have heard no news today on the search per my Port Lavaca buddy
this kind of crap pisses me off to the extreme. This isn't the thread for me to vent, but I will do it anyway. Over the last fifteen years or so it has gotten very bad. To the point where I WONT go fishing/boating anymore on a weekend. Tons of people who have ZERO experience on the water putting themselves and others at risk. Morning/evening are obviously the worst times for obvious reasons. I'm getting nervous just thinking about it as I type it out.

Growing up me and my dad would go fishing all the time at the coast, and he taught me to respect the water and what it can do. Now with my own kids I almost want to keep them away from it as far as I can, because I fear the other idiots out there now who have no idea of the dangers that come with operating a boat.
Jett01
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Todays update from mom:

Update: Per TPWD, They are using multiple boats today including an air boat. They are concentrating on visual searching the coastlines and the San Antonio Bay. Volunteers are all welcome to come out. We have coneyed to them that we want to focus westward and he agreed.

The outpouring of love, support, and tireless efforts for Hunter, his loved ones, our families and his friends is immensely comforting. We would like to thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.

We apologize for not being able to respond to everyone's comments individually at this time but please know that your prayers and comforting words are not lost on us.

TXSAR, EqquSearch, and the Cajun Navy have been contacted. They are working with officials to coordinate a plan.

Please be safe. Much love and thanks.
Mark Fairchild
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AustinCountyAg: Very sad! Like you, the natives here in Rockport DO NOT GO OUT WEEKENDS or HOLIDAYS on the water. Way too many boats, even the knowledgable ones are cheek to cheek.
Gig'em, Ole Army Class of '70
Jett01
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Update on the search for Hunter Hadley. The target they acquired turned out negative. So we are in need of boats and people to continue the search. We have people down at the Sanctuary club house manning the command center to keep things organized. If you are able to volunteer with boats or drones please report to the command center to check in and get a designated search area assigned to you and your team. Please call Terisha Harrington if you have any questions 361-920-6043. Or just come down. We are working on getting prepaid gas cards to help with fuel.
Jett01
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Sounds like they are asking for people to search between Galveston and Corpus due to all of the barge movement in the ICW.
fullback44
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Jett01 said:

Sounds like they are asking for people to search between Galveston and Corpus due to all of the barge movement in the ICW.


That's not a good sign …. I didn't expect to hear this, hopefully they bring them closure soon.. I may have to run down from Galveston this Sunday
Jett01
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I'm not sure how reliable some of the updates are. But this is his mom's latest

Update: 10:49 am - Multibeam Sonar is coming from Port Aransas on Saturday thanks to T Baker Smith. Bless the people. We are still working on getting one here sooner.

We had a few hits yesterday and the day before. We are getting back out there today. Still searching. I'm looking for someone with equipment that can maybe scan beneath the mud (under water) at the crash site.

Needing multibeam echosounder.
Sea Speed
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schmellba99 said:

Its easy to get absolutely turned around in foggy conditions and not even know it. Scary easy.


I was with 3 other guys with a combined 20+ years of professional navigation experience out on the bay in an area we have gone countless times and the fog still ate all of our lunch. There is a reason ports shut down in that stuff. Its a killer.
Sea Speed
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Jack Squat 83 said:

I'll ask the dumb question and I know it would add costs, but why don't the light the damn things up? If the non-effective lights are UNDERWATER when loaded, that is crazy. It would be just like a super-wide 18-wheeler driving down a 2 lane highway with the lights turned off. Makes no sense to me.

Are the accidents just so rare it's not worth a fix?


The lights on boats, ships, barges etc are internationally accepted navigational lights that are meant to allow other vessels the ability to identify each other at night. Do you know what light does to someone's eyes at night? It completely ruins their vision and the most important thing a watch stander has are his eyes. The uniform lights allow mariners the ability to quickly and easily identify the type of vessel they are encountering. You can look up what they are for free if you look up the rules of the road book. It even has illustrations. Lights on a barge are not meant to keep people with flippant attitudes about personal safety from getting too close, they are to assist with navigation. The ICW sees billions amd billions worth of cargo on it every year. It was specifically made for that. You'd sooner see it be closed to recreational traffic than the internationally accepted light characteristics for shipping changed.
Sea Speed
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O.G. said:

WaldoWings said:

TXCAV said:

I'm a hunting/fishing guide and grew up on the water, USCG Capt. I have personally also ran up on barges in the dark. It's easier than you think. Those barges when empty will tower over a small vessel. Yes they are required to have navigation lights, one red on port (left), one green starboard (right) and a white mast head light on the tug. The problem being is that even with normal visibility levels at night, no fog/rain/exc, when you are approaching a vessel of that size head on, the navigation lights of the barge may not easily be visible due to how high out of the water and how far apart the lights are. The lights will be mounted in the corner of the barge. The average barge can be <150ft long by <25ft wide, and when empty the top deck can be over 10ft above the water. A standard barge is 195' x 35'. For reference the average small vessel is less than 6ft wide. In the dark is it difficult to judge the distance at which the light is. I have seen double longs, double wides, and triples being pushed down the ICW. The tug is required to keep a watchstander 24/7 while the vessel is on the water. Should the watchstander see the vessel approaching and not giving way, they will use the massive spotlight and horn to get their attention.

Lately there has been a lot of boats headed out in the dark without running proper navigation lights, especially from duck hunters. Not sure behind their reasoning behind that, but its extremely dangerous. The one thing that remains the same from all these terrible incidents, as far as I know, no one was wearing their PFD. While a PFD may not save your life in the event of a catastrophic boating accident, it will make your body easier to recover. You may die from impact, propeller, exposure, exc, but your friends and family will have closure. No one is waterproof, it can happen to any one, and it has happened to the best of them. Be safe out on the water. Boater's education should be as heavily enforced and regulated as hunter's ed and a driving license.


Great post!

Being an inlander can someone explain what role barges play in shipping? Like, typically where they are coming from and going to and what they are transporting along the Texas coast?
Working near the Illinois, MO & MS river and I see tons of corn/soy beans that get sent down the river. It goes to various locations along the way. Some all the way to New Orleans where its loaded on bigger ships and taken over seas.

Rail gets a fair amount of it, but I'd guess that barges move more, at least in this area.


It costs significantly less to ship goods than it does to send them on rail or truck.
schmellba99
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Sea Speed said:

schmellba99 said:

Its easy to get absolutely turned around in foggy conditions and not even know it. Scary easy.


I was with 3 other guys with a combined 20+ years of professional navigation experience out on the bay in an area we have gone countless times and the fog still ate all of our lunch. There is a reason ports shut down in that stuff. Its a killer.


I can believe it. Anybody that says it hasnt happened to the is FOS or has never been fogged in.

Worst that happened to us - we launched from the Bryan Mound boat ramp and hit the ICW heading west. It was foggy as hell. Cruised for a bit and then almost ran up on the locks at the Brazos - we got turned completely around and were heading east instead of west. All of us knew the waters well. Called it a day after that, wasnt worth getting killed by a barge or running up on a reef.
Mowdy Ag
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Fog. 100% disorienting. A friend and I had fished all day (my boat) in the Louisiana (aka "Biloxi") Marsh as we had done dozens of times before. There was no tidal movement at all and for one of the very few times I can remember, we had not had a single bite all day. We fished plastic only. Late that afternoon we went into Lake Eugenie and, surprisingly, the tide started moving. We moved to the mouth of Crooked Bayou where the moving water spilled into the lake. It came alive with specks - good keepers even by Texas standards - on every cast. The mouth of the bayou, where we were casting, was to our west. The weather was perfect. We were half way to our Louisiana limits - 20 or 30 fish in the box - when I looked behind us (East). A heavy fog bank was rolling across the lake toward us. I told Robert it was time to get the heck out of there so we spooled up and began moving north. It was ten miles, as the crow flies, to the south shore of Lake Borgne through a maze of featureless marsh, shallow lakes, duck ponds, trainasses, and bayous, then another eight across Borgne itself to the dock. Well before we reached the north end of Eugenie, the fog was on us. Visibility was less than forty yards and without my GPS I would have already been lost. I trimmed the motor full forward (down) and slowed to the point we were barely staying on plane. The water was like glass and it was so incredibly strange - except for the vibration of the motor and the light breeze in our face there was absolutely no sensation of motion - just surreal. By the time we reached the bayou back into the marsh on the north end of the lake, visibility was down to maybe ten yards and it was getting dark so I dropped to an idle. It was still eight miles to Lake Borgne. This was 1998 and the GPS was a small unit - crude by today's standards - with no map. What it did have was the bread crumb trail from our morning trip into the marsh. Robert went to the front with the spotlight and held it as low as he could (to minimize the light reflecting back into our eyes), watching for obstacles and other boats. We idled for hours, following the bread crumbs, unable to see anything at all in the darkness more than a few feet away. Without that little GPS unit I would have had absolutely no idea where we were or what direction we were moving and we would have spent the night in the marsh with the biting gnats. Sometime late that night we made it to Borgne with the fog still on us. Luckily, after we idled a mile or so into the lake, we broke out of it. The air to our north was crystal clear and we could see the lights of Ansley, Mississippi, our launch point. We made the run across the lake, loaded the boat on the trailer, and got the hell out of there. It all worked out OK in the end but it was a damn stressful experience. I knew we would probably get out of there OK but the uncertainty of whether there were other boaters around - and how they would behave in that fog - was the thing that kept me on edge the entire time. ...sorry guys for the long-winded story, but it was one of those days (and nights) you never forget. The moral: If it's foggy, stay on the bank until you can see.
Aggieangler93
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It would seem to me that searching the waters from Galveston to POC by boat for a body (or worse, for fragments) would be a gargantuan task that is not realistic. Am I wrong in this? I mean sure, you could fly it many times and search it by air. assuming there is something that is still bright/reflective enough to find.

Who's to say the body of this poor kid didn't roll right out Pass Cavallo and head towards Port Aransas? It would seem to me that once they couldn't recover the body within a mile or so of the crash site, that the odds went down by about 99%.

I've been boating in that area for at least 30 years and the currents in the ICW there can be very strong when the tide is strong at the big jetties and the pass. I'm also thinking about crabs, alligators, etc that will have their way and make something unrecognizable essentially after a few days. I am not trying to be macabre, and I feel terrible for these parents. I would be out of my mind if this was my son. My prayers are going out for them.

I've seen how fog can flip the world on it's end. When I was younger I pushed that envelope. Now that I am older I am very thankful I was able to live long enough to learn that lesson.
Class of '93 - proud Dad of a '22 grad and a '26 student!
Charismatic Megafauna
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I agree, if this was near San luis pass we'd expect the body to wash up on matagorda in about a week. If it was my kid I'd be spending my last ounce of energy looking but at this point it's a body recovery. Lots of introspection here as i want my (currently young) kids to be heading out before dawn to slayy the ducks and redfish, but stories like this break my heart
TH36
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Charismatic Megafauna said:

I agree, if this was near San luis pass we'd expect the body to wash up on matagorda in about a week. If it was my kid I'd be spending my last ounce of energy looking but at this point it's a body recovery. Lots of introspection here as i want my (currently young) kids to be heading out before dawn to slayy the ducks and redfish, but stories like this break my heart


Yea it's become a recovery mission all the way around. I've seen some post from the Mom and you can tell she knows she's looking for a lost son now. They posted up a pretty heart breaking post of hers on POC People FB page this afternoon. I can't imagine being in her shoes.
Jett01
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There is rumor his body' was found, but they are waiting to let the family make the Statement
schmellba99
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Jett01 said:

There is rumor his body' was found, but they are waiting to let the family make the Statement


Hopefully the family can at least get closure and begin to go through the grieving process, i really feel for them.
Jett01
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http://www.portlavacawave.com/news/around_town/searchers-find-hunter-hadley/article_8bb8da72-a4fd-11ed-9ec5-5be8bed6364b.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=user-share&fbclid=IwAR0vrfTnERWttODgY63c9iEWUsx0XZ2KL8U2P9sJ93fu30SehzwMUPQvxyc&mibextid=tejx2t


I can't imagine what the family is going thru, but thankful they gave closure.

spud1910
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Jett01 said:

http://www.portlavacawave.com/news/around_town/searchers-find-hunter-hadley/article_8bb8da72-a4fd-11ed-9ec5-5be8bed6364b.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=user-share&fbclid=IwAR0vrfTnERWttODgY63c9iEWUsx0XZ2KL8U2P9sJ93fu30SehzwMUPQvxyc&mibextid=tejx2t


I can't imagine what the family is going thru, but thankful they gave closure.


Prayers for his family.
water turkey
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I hope his family can find peace. Prayers for them.
O.G.
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Horrible thing to go though for the family. I can not imagine losing a child.

For those that said have never seen the barges etc, I did go over the Illinois River the other day and took some pictures as I was driving. There were not as many barges as normal. I don't know if its because they aren't shipping as much corn/grain because of costs or if its something else. Pics do not do justice to the size of those things nor the size of the train terminal.


Only a couple of barges out there yesterday. Usually there are dozens.


This thing is where the corn is loaded from 18wheelers, then a really long arm extends out to the river to fill the barges.


Corn/Beans terminal for Trains. The train looks tiny in this picture. Near the bottom of the silos.
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