The search for a man believed to have fallen into the Kentucky River while night fishing in Franklin County continued through a third day on Easter Sunday.
Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton said the search for William “Will” Rawlings, 26, lasted from 8 a.m. to about 3:30 p.m. Sunday. An approaching thunderstorm ended the search on Sunday. Family members reported Rawlings missing about 2:45 a.m. Friday when they could not find him in the area near his car.
Rawlings is an employee of United American Securities Co., which guards Buffalo Trace Distillery at night. He is known to fish from that area of the riverbank when he is off-duty, Melton said previously. Rawlings’ flashlight and vehicle were found near the river after family members couldn’t get in touch with him and went looking for him.
Melton said the river is about one to two feet higher than usual because of recent rain, with the potential for more storms to complicate the search.
“It makes it even more challenging for first-responders,” he said.
Numerous crews have helped in the search, including the Lexington and Scott County fire departments. The search has also utilized dogs trained to find lost people, and sonar equipment.
“We’ve had numerous resources and assets that we’ve tried to utilize,” he said.
Melton said search crews want to bring Rawlings to his family to give them closure.
“Right now, everything appears that it’s just a terrible, terrible tragedy. I wouldn’t wish this on any family,” he said.
Rawlings is about 6 feet tall and 180 pounds.