All-night search ends with men found safe

Published 5:00 am Monday, May 9, 2005

Two men were located this morning on Johnson Station Road afterwalking away from their boat, which had become stuck on the BogueChitto River during a fishing trip that began Sunday afternoon.

The fishermen put into the river on Fox Road around 2 p.m.Sunday, expecting to go just a short distance down the river,authorities said. However, they got stuck along the way.

Lincoln and Pike County authorities began a search around 11p.m. Sunday, officials said. The boat was located from the air by aMississippi Highway Patrol helicopter this morning near the JolimarRecovery Center in extreme southern Lincoln County.

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“We never would have found them without the helicopter,” saidLincoln County Investigator Dustin Bairfield, who flew aboard thehelicopter during the search.

The men were identified as Burton Benton, of Lincoln County, andJeff Paden, of Pike County. Both men are in their 30s.

The search effort involved officers and crews from the Lincolnand Pike County sheriffs departments, the Mississippi HighwayPatrol, the Lincoln and Pike County civil defense offices,volunteers from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department and LincolnCounty Jail inmates.