Dive Teams Continue Search For Man Missing On Lake Skiatook

Tuesday, July 5th 2016, 3:29 pm
By: Tess Maune

Crews are on Skiatook Lake, searching for the body of a drowning victim from Coffeyville, Kansas.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said 36-year-old Chance Humble disappeared at a swimming area in Osage Park near the Highway 20 bridge on the Fourth of July.

Crews spent all day Tuesday searching, and Humble’s family and friends haven’t left the scene.

As the day grows longer, the search seems to get tougher. But when it comes to giving closure to the family and friends watching from the banks, the search crews will stop at nothing.

“Our search area has had a lot of fishing line and tangling issues, we've been tangled up several times in there,” said OHP dive team commander, Lieutenant Jeff James. “As long as we have targets to dive on with the sonar, and until we get the mission accomplished,”

OHP and the Army Corps of Engineers spent Monday evening and all day Tuesday looking for Humble’s body - they used divers, side scanning sonar and a dragging technique.

7/5/2016 Related Story: Search Resumes For Skiatook Lake Drowning Victim

James said their target area is roughly the size of a football field.

“Right now, we're just searching a pattern area of where they last saw him,” he said.

OHP said Humble jumped off a boat to go swimming. Witnesses said Humble resurfaced, threw his hat onto the sundeck of the boat then went under again and didn't come back up.

James said that area is between 35 and 60 feet deep, with bluffs below the surface that make the search challenging.

“The topography underwater is several shelves of cliff rocks and stuff like that,” James said. “It goes down to deep depths pretty quick, and there's several ledges and stuff we're having to search under, also.”

Search crews will search until dark. If they don't recover the body, they return and continue their search Wednesday morning.