Game wardens search for missing boater

Game wardens search for missing boater

MARION COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - A cold winter day on an East Texas lake ends with a boat taking on water, and a man lost in the waves.

Game wardens say it happened on Friday on the east side of Lake O the Pines near the spillway, where two fishermen fell out of their swamped boat, with only one being rescued.

The search for the second continued Saturday, as boats and divers searched for any sign of the missing man.

Games wardens say choppy conditions at the lake caused a fisherman to head in, but on the way, he took water over the bow, sending he and his passenger into the water.The passenger survived. The other got lost under the waves.

"The wind was high. We really can't say what happened but, the wind got up under the boat , turned it tragic for them," says a relative of the missing man Marsha Aimes.

Family members say 51 year old John Mitchell of Marshall is the missing man.

"If anybody knows John Mitchell, he loves to hunt and fish. That's him," Aimes says.

According to family members, both men went into the water the passenger was wearing a life jacket. Mitchell was trying to get one when he disappeared.

For hours, game warden and dive boats using sonar technology searched the area were Mitchell went under. Family and friends wonder how it could have happened to Mitchell.

"He was an experienced boater and he could swim. But the temperature of that water might have sent him into a shock," Marsha says.

The family has stood in bitter cold for the last two days agonizing. Nothing to do but watch, and wait.

"Last night it was really, really cold. All we're asking for is prayers and just believe in God. Pray for the family, that we need strength," Aimes says.

Late Saturday, divers were still in the water at Lake O' the Pines searching for Mitchell. The passenger who was rescued is hospitalized.

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