Hunting Accident File > Safe Fishing?: > 2007

CA - Search Ends For Missing Tracy Fisherman

December 24, 2007

BYRON, CA -- Marine rescue teams searched the murky depths of the Bethany Reservoir Monday for a Tracy man who fell into the waters after his boat capsized while on a Christmas weekend fishing trip.

Contra County Sheriff Sgt. J.D. Nelson said searchers were looking for Eric Wright, 32, who vanished while fishing with his father-in-law around 4 p.m. Sunday when their boat capsized. The father-in-law had gone onshore to retrieve a vehicle to pull the boat from the water.

Wright, who was described as a good swimmer, was not wearing a life jacket and had disappeared when the father-in-law returned.

The rural location of the reservoir added to the difficulties because Wright's relative had to drive where cell phone service allowed him to call 911.

Authorities responded to the scene with a helicopter equipped with an infrared camera and 16 divers, but a search was finally halted by darkness Sunday night after it failed to find any sign of the man.

Nelson said the cold weather conditions were a major concern.

"The temperature of the water is not conducive (to survival from prolonged exposure)," he said. "The temperature on shore is not conducive to a wet person who is trying to survive the elements."

Copyright 2007 by KTVU.com.

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