Two Boaters Missing In Carlyle Lake

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(KPLR) - The search for the bodies of 2 boaters presumed to have drowned will resume Monday morning on Carlyle Lake.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers used sonar in an effort to locate the bodies but witnesses were unable to tell searchers an exact spot where the men went in the water.

“It’s almost like searching for a needle in a haystack,” said Sgt. Eric Manker, Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police.

He said 3 men were out on a boat Saturday night when one jumped in the water.

 “Due to the high winds last night the boat was drifting away from him very quickly,” said Manker.

 That’s when the man in the water panicked.

 “The operator of the boat jumped out to try and save him and so they both became in a stressed situation,” said Manker.

 He said a 3rd man was unfamiliar with the boat and unable to either start it or navigate toward the 2 men in the water.

 Another boater came by and jumped in the water.  He was able to grab one of the men in the water but the man slipped out of the grip and went underwater. 

 Manker did not know whether alcohol played a role.  He pointed to a sign by the lake that indicated 84 people have drowned in the lake since it opened.

 He went on to say how important it is to have a life jacket.

 “People will jump from the boat and the boat will drift faster then they can swim,” said Manker.

 One of the victims was from Highland and the other from St. Charles, Mo.  Family and friends gathered around the lake on Sunday but did not want to comment on the search.