Search for missing fisherman in Polk Co. continues with dragging operation this weekend
It's been nearly two weeks since a fisherman went missing in Polk County.
Rescue officials are now gearing up for a dragging operation in the search for the man. This comes after officials say they have exhausted all other resources.
Stephen Lofty with West Polk County EMA said rescuers have used drones, sonar and divers with special equipment but have not yielded results.
Lofty says a dragging operation will be the most effective solution.
"If they are there and there is an opportunity to find them, we are going to find them," Lofty said.
Stephen Lofty said out of all the techniques rescuers have done over the past several days, a dragging operation is now needed to locate a missing 68-year-old fisherman.
He went missing near the tumbling creek area of Ocoee Number Three Lake.
"This is where we put drag bars with items on it that would attach to clothing whereby we could pull the individual up if they are on the bottom," Lofty explained.
Dragging is similar to plowing a cornfield. Officials use a big net to capture anything in the water.
Lofty said this form of operation takes a large number of people which is why numerous agencies across Tennessee and Georgia are participating.
Officials worry about how the operation will affect rescuers.
"We have people pull rope and long bars with chain drags on it in the water. They are physically handling those,; they are dropping them down and dragging them across the surface of the bottom, so it's taxing," Lofty said.
Officials say the dragging operation will take place Saturday and Sunday.
Lofty said if rescuers don't find the fisherman by Sunday, they will have exhausted all of their resources.
"If there is an opportunity for this individual to be found..." Lofty said. "If we don't pick him up, we would have done everything in the rule book that there is out there to try and find him."
Officials ask the public to stay clear of the Tumbling Creek Campground during the recovery operation. This is due to poor road conditions and the soon to be a congested area where rescue officials gather.