5-year-old, father go missing while fishing on the Neuse River

GOLDSBORO, N.C. (WTVD) -- An ongoing search for a 5-year-old boy and his father who went missing after a fishing outing Wednesday in Wayne County was suspended Friday night because of darkness.

On Friday, units from Arrington VFD, Mar Mac VFD, Wayne County Sheriff's Office, Johnston County Sheriff's Office, NC Wildlife, Goldsboro FD, Grantham VFD, and Rosewood VFD helped search. Water operations started shortly after 8 a.m. but have been halted overnight.

Rescuers used boats with sonar equipment, K9 search teams, and drone support. The search will resume Saturday morning after sunrise.

The Wayne County Sheriff's Office said that the father and son were fishing on the Neuse River at the Goldsboro Boating Access Area off Highway 117 around 8 p.m. Wednesday when the boy fell off the dock.

The father immediately jumped in after his son.

A witness on the bank of the river called 911. A boater in the river tried to grab hold of the father and son but was unable to get either of them.

Search efforts Thursday met without success.

The Wayne County Sheriff's Office released the harrowing 911 audio from a witness on the bank of the river.

"The baby fell in the water and his daddy jumped in after him," the caller told dispatch. "The current pushed the baby away. The daddy jumped in the water behind him and our buddy was coming back with the boat to load our boat up and he went to go get him."

Wayne County search crews arrived shortly thereafter and began searching by boat and helicopter. Unfortunately, darkness and fog forced officials to suspend the search before the boy or his father were found.

Search teams were back in the water and in the sky on Thursday afternoon. Wayne County Sheriff's Office said it had about seven or eight boats searching on the river and a helicopter flying overhead.

Officials said the current Thursday was just as strong as it was late Wednesday night.

"It's definitely a tough situation, our hearts are out with the family, of course, they're going through a lot right now. But also the witnesses that were out here yesterday. It is a tough scene," said Joel Gillie, a spokesperson for the sheriff's office.

Wayne County officials have not released the names of the father or son.

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