Sheriff’s department ends search; 2 boaters found unharmed

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department called off a search for possible drowned boaters in the Noble Lake area Saturday evening and two occupants were found unharmed, according to Major Lafayette Woods Jr., operations commander for the department.

An investigation to learn more about the current owner of the vessel led deputies to Justin Holstead, 33, of Star City.

Holstead stated that he and a friend were fishing in the lake, when the 15 foot aluminum flat bottom boat capsized resulting in he and his partner being ejected.

Holstead stated that the two were able to swim to the bank and retrieve their truck. According to Holstead, they witnessed the boat sink and couldn’t retrieve it.

When deputies arrived, the boat was floating upside down. A hold was placed on the vessel by deputies pending the investigation.

Pursuant to Arkansas law, Holstead’s failure to notify authorities after his boat capsized could be result in the issuance of a citation, Woods said.

Deputies began the search for possible drowning victims Saturday afternoon after receiving a call about a capsized boat off Noble Lake Road/U.S. 65 South in Jefferson County.