Search Underway For Missing Talala Boaters

Wednesday, June 3rd 2009, 5:56 pm
By: News On 6

By Craig Day, News On 6

TALALA, OK -- The search is on for two missing Green Country boaters.

The Oklahoma Lake Patrol and Corps of Engineers are looking for two boaters who were last seen on Sunday on Oologah Lake near Allen's Point, east of Talala.

The Oklahoma Lake Patrol says Paul Jones and his girlfriend were last seen Sunday, launching their 14 foot aluminum boat at Allen's Point.

"We also had one of our patrol aircraft, was up also searching from the air and as yet, we have found nothing so far," said Randy Green, Oklahoma Lake Patrol.

When Jones' pickup and boat trailer were discovered unattended near the ramp, Rogers County deputies and the lake patrol were notified.

Investigators say Jones didn't show up for work and several pets were left alone in his home.

The Lake Patrol and Army Corps Rangers are searching in an area east and southeast of where the boat was last seen near Allen's Point.

While that search is underway, neighbors are shocked at the disappearance.

"I always feel sad about something like this happening, regardless of who it happens to," said Chuck Jones, a neighbor. "It's a sad thing if it turns out like the sheriff thinks it's going to."

Oologah Lake is still nine feet above normal, which means there are still many underwater hazards like stumps that can be dangerous. Plus the high water is making it difficult for search crews.

"Chances are, if it did capsize and take on water, it probably went down to the bottom. And if they were in that area, there are some of the areas over there that are deep enough that if it did happen, the boat is going to be out of sight until the water recedes," said Green.

Experts say with the water high, it poses hazards for even experienced boaters. They say they can't stress enough the importance of having life jackets.