The search for two boaters who went missing Jan. 3 is now in full force as the ice melts on the James River.
Two boaters, Brian Savage of Henrico County and Kyle Englehart of Charles City County, went out on the water at the Jamestown Yacht Basin on Jan. 3 — just before a snowstorm — and were reported missing the next day, according to Lee Walker, a spokesman with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
As the weather warms up on Thursday and melts the ice, there is a small window for officials to continue the search with below-the-surface sonar surveillance. Officials began using the equipment early Thursday morning.
The boaters headed out on the water last week on the verge of a winter snowstorm that dumped five to 10 inches of snow in the area, according to Petty Officer 3rd Class Corinne Zilnicki from the US Coast Guard.
The storm was accompanied by below-freezing temperatures and wind, and created treacherous water conditions
Authorities had to suspend the search Friday morning because the waterways were too frozen to navigate, Zilnicki said.
The Virginia State Police and VDGIF resumed the search Saturday.
Earlier efforts included drone flights and helicopter searchers to perform surveillance from the air and foot searches for ground surveillance. On Friday, the only lead officials had was a 16-foot boat that washed ashore on Hog Island, according to Zilnicki.
The weather through Saturday is predicted to be warm enough to melt the ice, but by Sunday, the area will experience freezing temperatures once again, according to The National Weather Service.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.