The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Why did the search party not find the boys

I am asking a question from Tom Sawyer chapter 13

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The boys had not drowned. As the boys investigate further, they find that the sounds are coming from cannons being shot over the waters of the Mississippi River ­ a practice used to bring the bodies of drowning victims afloat. Tom comes to realize that the search party is for them, with the residents of St. Petersburg presuming the missing boys have drowned in river.