Perry County man safe after hours in the water

15-13-CWS | February 23, 2015

BILOXI, Miss. – A Perry County man was found underneath the Biloxi-Ocean Springs Bridge on Monday morning, more than 15 hours after he left a friend’s home in Ocean Springs to go fishing in a canoe.

James Martin, 46, was found by Marine Patrol officers with the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources just before 9:30 a.m. MDMR received a call just before 6 a.m. Monday from the U.S. Coast Guard in Pascagoula, who were searching for Martin. Marine Patrol initiated a search using four patrol boats and other patrol vehicles.

Captain Kyle Wilkerson was checking under the Biloxi-Ocean Springs Bridge and spotted a canoe matching the description of the one Martin was using. Martin was underneath the canoe trying to keep warm. Martin was placed in a Marine Patrol vehicle and provided first aid. Acadian Ambulance Service responded to the scene, but Martin refused further medical attention.

“We had a very positive outcome today,” said Keith Davis, Marine Patrol chief. “However, the boating public must remain vigilant because the weather conditions can change at any moment. It is imperative that all boaters provide a plan to family or friends prior to a boating outing in case trouble arises.” Agencies participating in the search included MDMR Marine Patrol, U.S. Coast Guard, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and Ocean Springs Police.


The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources is dedicated to enhancing, protecting and conserving marine interests of the state by managing all marine life, public trust wetlands, adjacent uplands and waterfront areas to provide for the optimal commercial, recreational, educational and economic uses of these resources consistent with environmental concerns and social changes. Visit the DMR online at