Local law enforcement officers have located two missing boaters alive after they were reported missing Sunday evening.
According to Troup County Sheriff’s Public Information Officer Stewart Smith, the two boaters apparently made it back to shore with their boat, walked and hitchhiked from Ringer Access Park to Horace King Park, where their truck and trailer was located. The pair drove their truck back to ringer park, and on the way, a deputy spotted the vehicle and made contact. Besides dehydration, they are fine. TCSO handed the case to the Department of Natural Resources.
The two men, described by sheriff’s deputies as men in their mid-20s, had been missing since 4:45 p.m. Sunday. One of the men lives in LaGrange, and the other resides in Villa Rica, Georgia. They are childhood friends.
Their empty boat was discovered shortly after 11 a.m. today and was beached near Ringer Road lake access park north of LaGrange. Law enforcement officers found the two men walking on the side of the road shortly thereafter.
The Troup County Sheriff’s Office coordinated with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to search for the men by boat and helicopter. A LaGrange police K-9 unit also assisted in the search.
Smith said the men left Horace King lake access park around 2 a.m. Sunday morning for night fishing. By 1:45 p.m., one of the men had contacted his wife and indicated their vessel had broken down and they were waiting for a tow. At 4:45 p.m., the man again telephoned his wife and told her they were still waiting.
The wife contacted Troup County 911 shortly after 11:00 p.m. when the men had still not arrived home or telephoned again. Attempts at that time to reach the men by phone were not successful.
It is unknown if the men are experienced boaters.
Sheriff’s deputies said they initially concentrated the search on the lake south of Horace King and Pyne Road parks, but moved the search area to the vicinity of Ringer Road park after they found the stranded boat.
West Point Lake, managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, has more than 500 miles of shoreline and a surface area of more than 40 square miles. The lake extends roughly 35 miles along the Chattahoochee River, according to the Army Corps.