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Authorities Recover Body of Missing Boat Operator on Lake LBJ

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According to details from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, on Sunday, July 14, 2019, following a two-day search, the body of a missing boater was recovered from Lake LBJ. The deceased was identified as 44-year-old Jesse Marcus Estes, of Sarita, Texas, who had been reported missing on Friday, July 12, 2019, after an afternoon boat wreck.

High boat traffic and a number of obstacles underwater complicated the search for Estes, whose body was recovered in the vicinity of where the accident occurred. Large rocks, man-made debris, and natural features of Lake LBJ hampered diver visibility as well as sonar effectiveness. To assist in the search, a K9 with the capability to source human remains was enlisted by Texas game wardens. The K9 led authorities to the location, which was then confirmed following a second pass by the Texas game wardens.

Authorities Recover Body of Missing Boat Operator on Lake LBJ

Photo: Pixabay

More than a dozen game wardens were involved in the search and recovery efforts for Estes, in addition to the K9, three side-scan sonar boats, and a dive team boat. The LCRA Lake Rangers, the Horseshoe Bay Police Department, and the Burnet County Sheriff’s Office also assisted in the Hill Country support services, alongside divers from five area volunteer fire departments. Crews had determined the boat carrying Estes and fellow passengers hit a large wave, upon which they were ejected. On Friday, first responders were able to locate all other passengers except for Estes. A Burnet County Justice of the Peace pronounced him deceased, and no autopsy has been ordered.

This tragic boating accident on Lake LBJ as well as the recent drowning of a man on the Guadalupe River should serve as reminders to be careful on the water. On July 11, Roberto Chavez Celis drowned in the Guadalupe at only 29 years old. His body was recovered by divers for the New Braunfels Fire Department. Such tragedies demonstrate how quickly a day of summer fun can turn deadly. Stay safe and alert while you’re having fun on the water this summer.