Search suspended for missing boater on Toledo Bend

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SABINE PARISH, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The search has been called off for the night for a man whose truck was found idling on a Toledo Bend boat ramp Tuesday afternoon, his boat adrift.

The Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office says they were unable to find any signs of the man after searching 100 feet out from the launch area. They expect to resume and expand the search at daybreak and bring in sonar equipment.

According to Sabine Parish Deputy Ron Rivers, witnesses in the area became alarmed after they noticed the truck had been idling for a few hours with no one around and called the Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office around 5 p.m. After searching the area and finding no sign of the man, they turned to concentrate their search in the water.

Police say he was launching the boat by himself, and the water is about 20 feet deep in the area they were searching. They also said they found his wallet, keys, and everything else inside the truck.

Agents with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries were called in to assist in the search, along with a dive team from the Central Sabine Parish Fire and Rescue and additional assistance from North Sabine Parish Fire and Rescue.

The man has not been identified, but Rivers says he is not from Sabine Parish. He was believed to have been heading out to fish on Toledo Bend ahead of a tournament coming up this weekend.

Rivers says the boat wasn’t attached to a lead rope, and it’s possible the man drowned while attempting to retrieve it when it started to drift away.

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