MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Bernadette Johnson sits on a sofa in her den surrounded by friends and family. For Johnson, the last 24 hours have been difficult, to say the least. Her husband of 37 years is missing.
Johnson said her husband John "Buster" Johnson left for work Wednesday, April 3, but not before she told him she loved him.
"He said, ‘I love you.' And I said, ‘Think about me today.' And he said, ‘I always do,'" Bernadette recalled.
Johnson worked at the BAE ship yard for 18 years as a rigger, a job Bernadette said he loved.
"He wasn't satisfied if he wasn't there," she said.
But Wednesday, April 3, Johnson didn't come home.
Officials said winds blew over a BAE guard shack Johnson was working in shortly before 2 p.m. The wind threw Johnson and another man into the Mobile River. The other man was recovered and taken to a hospital, but Johnson was not.
Crews began canvassing the area searching for Johnson but as of 4 p.m. Thursday, he is still missing.
"I want them to find him and give him back to us so we can do what we have to do," Bernadette said.
A man described as jovial and funny, Bernadette said there are a number of reasons she loved her husband.
She said he recently picked up singing in their church choir and even though he wasn't the best singer she said, he sure did try and he sang with his heart.
Bernadette is surrounding herself with love and support of family. Right now, the family is asking for prayers.
"He was a good man, and he loved the Lord, and I guess this was the Lord's will saying come on home."
Wednesday afternoon the Johnson family made a trip to the scene of the accident, the BAE Systems shipyard. Disaster and Victim Services Chaplain Tony Dickey said they weren't expecting what they found.
"The coworkers of Buster were there to meet the family and talk with them and show them their sympathy and support. During that time, a lot of the workers there at the dry dock just stopped working and a tremendous amount of respect for the family from the coworkers and sympathy and we all had a word of prayer," said Dickey as he wiped away tears.
The family also collected some of Johnson's belongings found by rescue crews.
Dickey said they have been informed Johnson is considered "missing and presumed dead."
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