Fishing Boat Capsizes On Oologah Lake; Two Rescued, One Missing

Thursday, November 8th 2012, 1:45 pm
By: News On 6

Two men have been rescued and another is missing in the waters of Oologah Lake, according to the Rogers County Sheriff's Office.

Three relatives were fishing on Thursday morning when their boat capsized.

A person who lives near the lake heard the men screaming and called for help. Rescue crews were dispatched about 12 p.m.

"There was two guys on the bank. I could see their boat swamped and they were in bad shape, they were about to freeze," said neighbor Bill Newcomb.

According to Hull, who is part of the investigation, Olen "O.D." Brewer, 56, and his son, Damen Brewer, 30, swam to shore and were helped out of the lake. They were seen on shore receiving medical attention.

The missing man is 35-year-old Jeremy Brewer, O.D.'s nephew and Damon's cousin, Hull said.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol said the three men were on the lake in high winds and a large wave came over the bow, causing the boat to take on water. The boat began to sink and O.D. and Damen were able to get flotation devices, but their attempts to get one to Jeremy were unsuccessful.

OHP said Jeremy went under in about 25 feet of water and never resurfaced.

News On 6 spoke Thursday evening with Jeremy's father, Dan Brewer, who said the thought of losing his son was too much to bear.

"I'm gonna miss him the rest of my life, however long that is, I'm gonna miss him every day," Dan Brewer said.

A country boy who loved the outdoors and lived to fish, Jeremy's dad says his son knew Oologah Lake better than anyone.

"He was doing what he loved," Dan said. "He's been on that lake, I taught him that lake since he was a kid barely big enough to walk."

Just before 2 p.m., the Oklahoma Highway Patrol headed to the scene with lake patrol search boats equipped with SONAR, Hull said.

Recovery efforts were suspended at dark and will resume early Friday morning, officials said.

Dan Brewer said he hopes they find his son's body soon.

"I just wish it was now," Dan said. "I wanna say goodbye to my son."

A close-knit family, Dan said Jeremy's three children were also the loves on his son's life.

A medical helicopter landed on the shoreline Thursday afternoon and picked up one of the victims. Crews used ropes to take a stretcher carrying the second victim up the steep cliff to a waiting ground ambulance. 

Both men were transported to a Tulsa area hospital and treated for hypothermia.

OHP said O.D. Brewer suffered inflammation of the lungs, due to inhaling lake water. Troopers reported that Damen was also treated for a shoulder injury and was released.

SkyNews6 was flying above the scene near South 4120 Road in Rogers County and assisted several law enforcement agencies with search efforts, beginning shortly after authorities responded.

The scene is located about two miles north of Oologah Dam, on the west side of the lake. It's just southwest of the Will Rogers Birthplace State Park.
The lake level is about three-and-a-half feet below normal, which made it possible for the medical helicopter to land on the shoreline. Normally the water comes right up to the base of the bluff, which is covered with underbrush and large rocks.