Man lost in woods found

Published 12:02 am Thursday, November 20, 2008

A man who got lost in the woods Tuesday evening was found by the rescuers early Wednesday morning.

Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Shane Tucker said the man went out hunting off the Pearl River and when he did not return home by dark, his family became concerned. They filed a report with the department, stating that 53 year-old Clifford Kellar of Picayune had been missing for some time. The department began their search just after getting the call, shortly after midnight.

Apparently after Kellar had been out hunting for a time in the Old River Wildlife Management Area he became disoriented and lost his way back to the kayak he used to traverse the Pearl River.

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Tracking dogs attempted to locate Kellar’s scent from where Kellar’s brother found his truck. Since Kellar used a kayak to cross the river, the dogs lost his scent, Tucker said.

Kellar did what he could to stay warm while he was out in the elements that night, exercising and staying away from the water front. As rescuers searched for Kellar they called out his name and did short and long blasts with horns. Kellar later told rescuers that he heard their calls and blasts but he was too far away for rescuers to hear his return calls.

Once day broke, Kellar was able to find his way back to his kayak, which is where rescuers found him as they were searching for him along the river in their own boat. Kellar was found at about 9 a.m. Wednesday, alive and healthy. Tucker said it was a good thing that Kellar is fit, which could have been a major factor in his survival of the cold temperatures the previous night.

“He did good to survive because it was very cold,” said Tucker, who participated in the search. “I can attest to the fact that it was very cold.”

Local volunteer fire departments, the Picayune Fire Department and the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department helped in the search.