Conservation officerHENDERSON, Ky. (9/10/18) — The Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Law Enforcement has released the name of the man who went missing after a boat capsized near the Newburgh Lock and Dam Sunday afternoon.

According to a news release from Matt Clark of IDNR, 45-year-old Steven O. Burks of Owensboro is still missing after a second day of searching the Ohio River.

The man in the boat with Burks during the Sunday afternoon accident was rescued from the face of the dam. The survivor has been identified as 48-year-old Paul W. Warrenfeltz, also of Owensboro.

Multiple agencies resumed searching for Burks in that area of the Ohio River at 7 a.m. Clark said sonar readings indicated a boat is 86-feet underwater near the dam. He is unsure if it is the same boat the men were in while fishing.

A strong current pulled the boat into the Newburgh Dam after the boat motor failed to start, authorities reported Sunday.

Before the boat went under, Warrenfeltz was able to put on a lifejacket and climb onto a ledge of the dam, where officers from the Newburgh Police Department and members of the Yankeetown and Newburgh Fire departments were able to lower a rope and pull him to safety. 

In reference to future searches, Bryant Woodard, Chief of Henderson City/County Rescue Squad, said conditions remain unfavorable.

“Indiana DNR will have boats out on the water, but with the river going up like it is, it is causing hazardous conditions — our searches will be land-based," he said. "The Coast Guard is still doing broadcasts for commercial traffic for them to keep an eye out as well.”

Nick Risley
SurfKy News Reporter
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HENDERSON COUNTY, Ky. (9/10/18) —Emergency responders from Henderson, Evansville and Newburgh, Indiana are continuing the search this morning for a man who went missing in the Ohio River Sunday afternoon.

Officials say both men that went overboard in a fishing boat near the Newburgh Lock and Dam are from Owensboro. One man was rescued. Their identities have not been released.

Indiana Conservation Officers are still investigating the incident.  

Emergency responders were dispatched just before 3 p.m. to a man overboard. Due to conflicting reports from a 911 caller, unsure of their exact location, crews in Henderson were dispatched to the Spottsville Lock and Dam on the Green River and crews in Newburgh, Indiana were dispatched to their Lock and Dam. Neither agency could locate anyone in distress because the watercraft had already sank, leaving one man fighting for his life and another missing. 

Officials say that when the motor on the boat failed to start, the river’s current pulled the boat into the dam. One man was able to grab a life jacket and climb up onto the ledge of the lock’s tainter gate. Responders were able to pull him to safety by lowering a rope to pull him up. 

It is believed the men had been in the water for approximately two hours before even seeing anyone to flag down. A passing fishermen noticed the man hanging off the gate waving his arms for help.  

Recent storms have caused a sudden rise in the river’s water levels, which makes the waters near the dam very hazardous.

Responders are unable to dive and are using sonar devices to search the waters. Officials said fishing near the dam is very dangerous and “No Fishing” signs are posted. 

Nick Risley
SurfKy News Reporter

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