The wife of a missing man is waiting for confirmation of her worst fears.

Officials have called off their recovery efforts after a local man went missing in the Saginaw River.

The search began near Niagara and Lee Streets in Saginaw about 8:25 p.m. Saturday. Investigators said a boat with two men on board was about 30 feet from shore when it had mechanical issues.

The Saginaw County Sheriff's Office said that's when Reginald Smith, 35, of Saginaw, jumped into the water and tried to swim to shore. The man's friend was on the boat as well, and told investigators Smith was swimming when he went under the water and never came back up.

Divers had searched for Smith for three days.

Toni Smith, the missing man's wife, spoke to TV5 in an exclusive interview.

She said the sheriff's department showed up at her house at 11:30 that night and told her what happened.

"All I could say was, 'what? He did what? Are you serious?' It was unbelievable. Even today, it's still unbelievable," Smith said.

She said her husband had many interests, but fishing was at the top.

"If he could be out on the water every day he would be," Smith said.

She said she is just waiting for the phone call to confirm her worst fears.

"Just hoping and praying that somebody will see him and call and say, 'we got him. We got him,'" Smith said.

Technology used in search and rescue missions

Crews used sonar equipment to search underwater.

"We use something called a side scan sonar. It's a high end fish finder, the one we've got is a Hummingbird model," said David Sommers, commander of Saginaw County Sheriff's Department dive team.

Sommers said it's got a hefty price tag of more than $4,000, but is worth the money.

"It will give us a 3D pic of the bottom of the water where a fish finder will just show you depth. This will scan out to the side and we can see different objects on the bottom," Sommers said.

He said it is a game changer when it comes to search and rescue missions like the one for the missing boater.

"We like to use it because we can run the sight scan without commuting people to the bottom and we can cover a lot bigger area a lot quicker and eliminate areas," Sommers said.

Sommers said the sonar equipment isn't just used for search and rescue missions.

"A couple years ago we found five or six vehicles in the river. They were under 18-20 feet of water. They would have never shown up. So we were able to close a lot of cases of stolen cars. Cars in the water that would've never been found otherwise," Sommers said.

Copyright 2017 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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