The accident occurred June 9 on Lake Sinclair in Baldwin, east of Spalding County. The wreckage of the boat and the body of one victim was located June 10, but the second victim remains unaccounted for.
The Spalding/Pike UERT, which is part of a list maintained by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency designed to offer assistance to jurisdictions statewide when additional resources are needed, was contacted by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to aid in this recovery effort.
Saturday marks the first time the Spalding/Pike UERT has been called upon since merging in 2006. Out of the 32 team members, 15, including both divers and support personnel, responded to the mobilization.
“This was the first GEMA called for the combined team of Pike and Spalding County, which was combined last year, and it was very successful with (putting) the call out and the departure to the location,” said Capt. Tony Ranieri of the Spalding County Sherrif’s Office.
Under the direction of Sherrif Dee Stewart, the department’s helicopter also aided in the search.
The family of the missing man was on hand for the search as well.
“They were right there, watching every move,” said Ranieri. “They need closure in this thing.”
According to Ranieri, the Spalding/Pike UERT consists of members of Pike County EMA, Pike County volunteer firefighters, the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office and civilian divers.
“The UERT has been rigorously training to make our divers certified in different aspects of rescue diving,” said Ranieri. “We just returned from Pelham, Ala., where the entire team was tested and certifed in the area of rescue diving and advanced diving. We are in preparation for training for a certification in public safety diving, but due to our budget cut, this will take a litle longer than we expected.”
The search was conducted for approximately 10 hours Saturday, ending at 8 p.m. without success.
Due to the size of Lake Sinclair, additional teams were involved Saturday and still other teams continued the search for the missing man Sunday.