Bodies Of Missing Boaters Found In Lake Tarpon

By: Associated Press News Email
By: Associated Press News Email

Associated Press News Release

TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. (AP) -- Search crews found the bodies of two missing boaters four days after their aluminum fishing boat apparently sank in Lake Tarpon.

Investigators say the bodies of 43-year-old Willie Ragins and 64-year-old Willie Hightower were pulled from the lake on New Year's afternoon. They went missing Dec. 29 during a fishing trip on Pinellas County's largest lake.

Search crews have not found the 14-foot boat. Investigators say they don't know what led to the accident. Ragins' family last heard from him in a cell phone call on Saturday night. He said he would be home in a few hours.

Deputies found Ragins truck and boat trailer parked near the lake. Searchers on Sunday found a life jacket, two coolers and a chair floating in the water


Associated Press News Release

TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. (AP) -- The search continues for two boaters reported missing on Lake Tarpon.

Pinellas County Sheriff's deputies say 43-year-old Willie Ragins and 64-year-old Willie Hightower went fishing Saturday afternoon. They were last heard from about 10 p.m. when Ragins' daughter called his cellphone to check on them.

The Tampa Bay Times (http://bit.ly/1hPAjdj ) reports Ragins told his daughter he'd be home in a couple of hours. She fell asleep and he wasn't home when she woke up on Sunday.

Deputies started searching for the men around noon Sunday, using helicopters, sonar and boats. The search was eventually called off because of rain and low visibility after sunset.

Lake Tarpon is the largest lake in Pinellas County.

The search is expected to start at first light on Monday.

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Information from: Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.), http://www.tampabay.com.


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