From the air and on the water, search crews spent Thursday in Barnet looking for the body of Zach Florio, 22, in the Passumpsic River.
"You feel bad for the families; you hope that you can bring some closure to them," Vt. State Police Capt. Tim Clouatre said.
"My thoughts and prayers are out for them, you know, the whole family," Tricia Sanborn said.
On land, family friend Tricia Sanborn feared the worst for the Passumpsic man who went overboard canoeing with friends Wednesday night and failed to surface.
"Unfortunately, when somebody goes missing in this river, they don't usually come out," Sanborn said.
Sanborn is speaking from experience. Her brother-in-law died in the Passumpsic eight years ago this month.
"He died of hypothermia and they didn't find his body for almost two weeks," Sanborn said.
Clouatre says the same conditions that make this stretch of river dangerous for recreation are what make a search difficult.
"There are ever-changing currents in the rivers with the snow melts and the rain, we've had everything. What may look as very shallow water to go through suddenly becomes rapids and white water," Clouatre said.
At one point Thursday, 40 people were involved in the search for Florio in the unforgiving waters. For Sanborn it was a chilling reminder about where she says her kids and grandchildren belong.
"My advice is if you want to go fishing in the river banks, that's great," Sanborn said, "but I wouldn't play with Mother Nature and get into these waters anyway."
Family members were too distraught to talk with us. Crews wrapped up the second day of searching late Thursday afternoon. State police plan to continue the search Friday morning.
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