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Searchers Find Boat, But Not Missing Man

Updated:
SHAWNEE, Okla. (AP) _ Searchers may have gotten closer to finding a missing Meeker man after the flat-bottomed boat in which he was riding was discovered near here on Sunday, authorities said.

No one has seen Wesley Davis, 24, since the rain-swollen waters of the North Canadian River capsized the Jon boat on Tuesday, throwing him and two friends overboard. The other two men were rescued.

Divers from the Oklahoma Lake Patrol found the 14-foot vessel hung up near an abandoned pipeline north and east of Shawnee in Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper Betsy Randolph said. The pipeline belongs to Koch Pipeline, based in Wichita, Kan., Randolph said.

``Because of the water rise, a bunch of debris had gotten congested there and made a makeshift dam,'' she said.

``They're contacting the pipeline company and they're going to get permission to cut the pipe to remove the debris. They believe either the body is there in that area or somewhere close to that area.''

Searchers planned to look until nightfall.

If found, Davis would be the second death attributed to a storm system that produced damaging tornadoes and flooding rainfall over the state in the past 10 days.

Canute resident Henry H. Fletcher, 71, was headed home from work near Elk City during a thunderstorm when he drove into running water and was swept off the roadway on May 6, the OHP reported.

Fletcher's nephew discovered his body the next day about 275 feet from the road.
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