Coast Guard suspends its search for four missing children near Dauphin Island

DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. — The Coast Guard suspended its active search today for four missing children who were reportedly thrown from the Dauphin Island Bridge by their father here Monday.

Since Tuesday afternoon, Coast Guard crews have been assisting nearly a dozen local and state law enforcement authorities in the search for the children, who range in ages from 4 months to 3 years, using three sonar-equipped flat bottom boats from Sector Mobile, a 25-foot rescue boat from Station Dauphin Island, the Coast Guard Cutter Saginaw, an HH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter from ATC Mobile and an HH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopter from Air Station New Orleans.

“Our crews take great pride in saving lives, so suspending a search is an extremely difficult decision because we understand the impact that it has on the families and rescue crews involved,” said Capt. Ed Stanton, Commander of Coast Guard Sector Mobile, Ala. “Many factors go into a decision like this and believing that the children are not alive at this time, we must ensure our crews are ready to respond to other search and rescue cases.”

The search began Tuesday when Sector Mobile received a call from the Bayou LaBatre Police Department requesting search and rescue assistance and responded immediately with a rescue helicopter from Air Station New Orleans and a small boat from Station Dauphin Island. Coast Guard crews have searched nearly 250 square miles over the past three days.

The Coast Guard continues to broadcast an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast (UMIB) asking local boaters to be on the lookout for anything unusual and to report it to the Mobile County Sheriff’s Department or the Coast Guard.

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