“The decision to suspend any search and rescue case is never easy but considering the extensive search efforts of our Coast Guard men and women, in conjunction with other response agencies, I’ve made the difficult decision to suspend our active search for the three children,” Capt. Kelly Denning, Coast Guard Sector New Orleans commander, said in the release. “Our prayers are with the families during this difficult time.”
Several rescue teams were involved in the search, including the New Orleans police and fire departments, a Coast Guard Air Station helicopter crew and several boat crews, the Coast Guard said.
The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority suspended service of its Algiers-Canal Street ferry as the Coast Guard searched the area, according to WDSU.
Officials didn’t say how and why the children entered the water, but CNN affiliate WDSU reported that it appears one of the girls fell into the river and the other two children tried to save her.
Rescuers searched more than 90 miles along the Mississippi River for the children, the Coast Guard said in a news release Sunday.