Hope is ebbing that Coast fisherman Marc Cruso will be found alive after he fell from a boat Saturday evening northwest of Cat Island into the Mississippi Sound.
Searchers working from six vessels and a helicopter were unable to locate the 45-year-old by the end of a long day Sunday, said Keith Davis, chief of Marine Patrol for the state Department of Marine Resources.
“We have covered a large, large area today,” Davis said about 5 p.m. Sunday, after DMR boats pulled into the Pass Christian harbor.
Cruso, an avid fisherman who lives in D’Iberville, was aboard a 22-foot, center-console boat with his wife, Brenda. The two were returning from a fishing trip, Brenda Cruso said. She said they caught a cooler full of fish.
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“He loved to fish,” she said. “That was his world.”
Another family member said a wave hit the boat as Marc Cruso slowed it down, knocking him overboard. His wife repositioned the boat in an attempt to pull Cruso back aboard.
“He was there and then the next minute, he had gone under,” said Keith Davis, chief of Marine Patrol for the state Department of Marine Resources. “And that was the last that the family member saw of him. He was not wearing a life vest.”
Hope remains that Cruso is alive, Davis said, but efforts are shifting from rescue to recovery of a body because of the circumstances of Cruso’s disappearance and the time that has passed.
The U.S. Coast Guard also had two vessels searching Sunday, while the Gulfport Fire Department deployed its fire-rescue boat. The Harrison County Sheriff’s Office searched by helicopter, and Daphne, Ala., Search and Rescue Dive Team volunteered with its stationary, 360-degree sonar equipment.
The sonar equipment was positioned on the floor of the Mississippi Sound and provided 360-degree views of the water bottom.
The Coast Guard was continuing its search into Sunday evening, said Petty Officer 3rd Class Lexi Preston.
Family members waited at the Pass Christian harbor during the search.