DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Rescue crews spent part of Saturday searching for a 19-year-old who was reported missing after a canoe accident on Lake Ray Hubbard. The incident happened around 2:00 p.m. Saturday when the teen’s canoe tipped over from strong winds. As darkness fell on the lake, crews called off the search.
The Mesquite teen and his and two friends – Chris Dalrymple and Tracy Cooper – were all on the lake when the accident took place. They realized that the winds would be too treacherous and decided to go back to the shore. “As we were turning around to come back, it tipped us over,” said Cooper.
After their canoe tipped, the three teens started to swim to safety. But the missing teen fell behind. “He was behind us most of the way. Then, he started hanging back trying to float,” said Dalrymple. “I think he was just tired. I mean, it was a mental beatdown.”
That swim was the last time that Dalrymple and Cooper would see their friend. By the time they had gotten to the shore, the teen had already disappeared. Texas game wardens said that, with the winds blowing 20 mph or more, it would have been tough for even a healthy teen to reach land.
There is no sign that the Mesquite 19-year-old ever made it to the shore safely. Police in Dallas do not want to reveal the teen’s identity until they know for sure what happened to him. Authorities plan to resume the search on Sunday morning, but are working on the assumption that the teen has drowned.
As the 19-year-old’s friends learned about his accident, they started to congregate at Lake Ray Hubbard to console each other and keep a hopeful eye on the water. Dalrymple said, “So many people love him.”