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Missing Boaters Found Safe
Updated July 16, 2015 2:06 PM
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(BUDDAH) - Two boaters were found safe after they had boat trouble on White River early Thursday morning.

According to Lawrence County Sheriff Mike Branham, the department received a call at 1:15 a.m. reporting that 22-year-old James Bales and 20-year-old Chad Phillips, both of Orleans, had launched their boat at the Rivervale boat ramp. But at 11:30 p.m. one of the men contacted a family member saying they were having motor trouble and were going to attempt to paddle back to the dock.

But after two hours, no one had heard from them. The family member then began their own search and told police they were driving up and down the roadways near the river looking for the missing boaters but couldn't find them. The caller reported they were still attempting to contact the men, but cell service in the area was spotty.

Branham says the men were unable to paddle the boat to shore, so they jumped out and swam to shore.

Department of Natural Resource officers, Marion Volunteer Fire Department firefighters and a Seals ambulance team were called to the area to assist in the search.

At 2:05 a.m. the family member reported they had heard from the men and the two had made it out of the water near the Buddha bridge.

A Lawrence County officer found the men walking along the Buddha Bypass.

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