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Searchers hunt for boater in Coleto Creek Reservoir

May 14, 2011 at 12:14 a.m.

A dive team with the Texas Department of Public Safety (center boat) is assisted by Texas Parks and Wildlife game wardens  while searching for a missing man in Coleto Creek Reservoir on Saturday.

The search for a Victoria man who was reported missing Friday night at Coleto Creek Reservoir will continue Sunday morning.

After not locating the man Saturday evening after several hours, a dive team from the Texas Department of Public Safety stopped its search, which became a recovery effort almost 12 hours after the man was reported to have gone under water.

The search will begin again at 5 a.m. Sunday.

Goliad County Sheriff Kirby Brumby said his agency received the report about 10:30 p.m. Friday of a man who went over the side of a recreational boat.

Two other men were on the inboard/outboard boat when the incident occurred, he said.

It's unclear whether the missing man, who is described as a 22-year-old from Victoria, fell overboard, jumped in or was pushed.

Authorities have not yet released the name of the missing man.

Coleto Creek Reservoir, which is just across the Goliad County line on U.S. 59, has 3,100 surface acres.

Onlookers lined the shore, grim-faced, as divers from the DPS dropped beneath the surface of the lake.

Texas Parks and Wildlife game wardens patrolled around the boat, keeping the area clear of water recreationists.

Victoria resident Bettie Stehling sat in the grass, watching the searchers.

"We don't even know this person and this is hard to watch," Stehling said, shaking her head.

The man disappeared while the boat was near the park's boat ramp near a small island in the reservoir.

Brumby said the search late Friday began with a helicopter and spotlight.

Saturday's search effort included the Goliad County Sheriff's Office, members of the DPS dive team and state game wardens.



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