WHEATLAND -- A would-be perfect Memorial Day outing, a day on Camp Far West Lake, took a dark turn Sunday evening.
A fishing boat, according to Placer County Sheriff's deputies, hit a wake and sent all six people inside overboard. Three were hospitalized with injuries. A fourth never came up from the water.
Yuba County water crews normally patrol the lake. They received backup from both Placer and Sutter county rescue crews and dive teams, who spent hours trying to locate the missing boater. They never found him or the boat.
"We have initial reports that it might've split in half, but without a boat, we're not quite sure. We found some pieces of the boat and things of that nature, but at this point, we don't have a boat to put on a trailer and tow in,” said Placer County Sgt. Josh Tindall.
"Yeah, they were definitely sad and crying, they were just searching for their brother. They said that there was a boat accident and they couldn't find their brother,” said one person who did want to share her full name. She witnessed the aftermath, not the accident itself.
"If I would've saw that I’d be in tears right now,” she said.
"There's lights on, there’s sheriffs, there's ambulances,” said Scott Gibson, a regular boater along Camp Far West Lake who also witnessed the scene moments after the crash.
Sadly, Gibson says, incidents like these happen all too often. He remembers seeing a boat accident four years ago on this very lake that led to a drowning.
"Oh yeah there's always something that happens. When we have these kinds of boats things happen," he said.
Around 10 Sunday night, deputies and dive crews called off their search. They’ll continue Monday morning to try to find both the boat and the missing boater.