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Efforts continue in search for missing boaters

| July 1, 2022 1:00 AM

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PRIEST RIVER — Efforts to find three missing boaters were unsuccessful Thursday, Bonner County Sheriff's Office officials said.

The trio were reported missing after the boat they were in capsized on the Pend Oreille River near Thama on Tuesday. The body of a fourth person in the performance-style boat was located Wednesday near where the accident occurred.

The names and ages of the occupants will not be released until next of kin have been notified, BCSO officials said.

BCSO marine units and dive teams have been searching for the missing boaters since receiving word that the 34-foot MTI boat capsized on the river around 7 p.m. Tuesday. 

BCSO Undersheriff Ror Lakewold said a combination of county and local law enforcement searched throughout the day Wednesday and Thursday in search of the missing boaters. In addition, an Idaho Fish and Game vessel has been searching the shoreline.

A Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office marine vessel, outfitted with sonar, is assisting in the search. In addition, additional resources have been requested from the state to assist in the search.

BCSO officials said the Pend Oreille River at the location of the accident is approximately 94 feet deep. The Thama area is about two miles from Priest River and about 16 miles from Sandpoint.

An investigation into the cause of the accident is under way.