Search continues for missing man at Lake Grapevine

Posted Friday, Jul. 05, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Firefighters searched Lake Grapevine near Mustang Island on Friday for a 21-year-old man who was missing from a party boat when it returned to its dock at Silver Lake Marina on Thursday afternoon, an official said.

The search was called off Friday evening, but it was expected to resume on Saturday.

“Party boats carry as many as 200 people. This one had 60 guests. When they arrived back at the dock, they realized they had 59,” Grapevine Fire Chief Steve Bass said.

The man’s name wasn’t released to the media. But relatives from out of state were reportedly on their way to Grapevine, Bass said.

Emergency crews were called about 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

On Friday, firefighters using sonar on two boats were still searching the water within a couple of hundred yards of Mustang Island, where the party boat made the second of two stops during an Independence Day outing, Bass said. A search crew from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is helping. The lake is about 40 feet deep in that area, Bass said.

Party boats typically cruise the lake for a while and anchor near the shore so guests can swim and slide off the back, Bass said. The boat will move to another spot, anchor and let guests play again before returning to its dock, Bass said.

Witnesses told investigators that they saw the 21-year-old man in the water at the second stop, but no one recalled seeing him get on the boat when it left, Bass said.

“We took the captain of the party boat back out with us to get his estimation of where it was,” he said. “We also took a guest out there at a separate time to get another estimation. It’s a little vague. They can’t pinpoint exactly where they were, and that’s why we’re kind of struggling with our search.”

The search was suspended about 8:30 p.m. Thursday but resumed at 7:30 a.m. Friday. Divers are stationed nearby but have not been in the water, Bass said.

“We’ll dive only if the sonar picks up something,” he said.

The party boat had the required flotation devices on board, but swimmers are not required to use them, Bass said.

Terry Evans, 817-390-7620 Twitter: @fwstevans

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