BY SARAH GREGORY
Rescue squad volunteers from numerous agencies continue to search the Nolichucky River near Birds Bridge for the body of a Greeneville man believed drowned on Wednesday.
Nahum Martinez, 25, of Bandy Road, was wading in water near a sandbar close to the bridge about 6:15 p.m. Wednesday when he suddenly disappeared under the water, according to witnesses.
Emergency personnel have searched the waters for Martinez from sunrise to dark each day since Wednesday while family and friends have remained by the riverbank, waiting for him to be found.
On Saturday, a regional call was made to request assistance from any available responders from an area ranging from Johnson to Jefferson counties.
In addition to the Greeneville Emergency & Rescue Squad, responders from rescue squads in Church Hill, Bluff City, Jefferson County, and Hawkins County, the Kingsport Life Saving Crew, Watars women's auxiliary, Greeneville-Greene County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency joined the search over the weekend.
DIVERS: NO VISIBILITY
On Saturday, divers with the Kingsport Life Saving Crew entered the water, but reported that they had no visibility in the dark, muddy waters.
As the day progressed responders were hopeful that water levels would continue to recede, helping operations be more effective.
Saturday afternoon, crews worked to hook three boats together and equip larger drag irons -- custom-fabricated on-site the day before -- to conduct a dragging operation over a larger area.
The search focused in an area where cadaver dogs had alerted to the possible location of a body the day before.
Sunday morning's effort began about 6 a.m. with another search by three cadaver dogs.
Rescuers confirmed for The Greeneville Sun that those dogs alerted to the possible location of a body in the same vicinity.
Divers re-entered the water on Sunday afternoon and dragging operations were conducted throughout the day with no success.
As a new work week begins, rescuers now face an additional challenge as available manpower for the all-volunteer squads dwindles.
Several responders indicated that they would make themselves available Monday to continue the search.