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Missing boater found dead in Winton Lake after boat capsizes

Rescuers comb Winton Lake for missing fisherman
Posted at 5:18 AM, May 04, 2017

SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- One man was rescued, but 23-year-old Caleb Simpson of Forest Park was found dead after a boat capsized late Wednesday night in Winton Lake, according to park rangers.

Rangers quickly saved Charles Murrell, 19, and teams of water rescue crews in boats combed the lake's waters for the missing boater from about midnight to 2 a.m. A helicopter hovering above scoured for movement along the banks of the 156-acre lake. Rangers resumed their search at 7 a.m. Thursday.

Simpson's body was found Thursday afternoon about 30 feet from where he disappeared near Goose Island, park rangers said. 

Lt. Greg Grimm, a ranger from Great Parks of Hamilton County, said it was the first time in his 24 years that he's had to search for a missing boater. Grimm said the two men went fishing in a personal canoe Wednesday on Goose Island. The canoe capsized as they left the island, and a family member called when they didn't come home for dinner Wednesday night.

Great Parks of Hamilton County officials said they weren't sure what the men were doing on the lake. The Winton Woods boathouse has been closed due to high water levels and use of the lake is prohibited during high flood levels and after dusk.

Multiple agencies and the U.S. Army Reserve were on hand for the search effort. The rescued man is recovering at home.

Not only were rescuers dealing with pitch black conditions overnight in Winton Woods, but the lake is muddy and flooded because of the nearly 4 inches of rainfall in the past week. Winton Lake is about 3 miles long with several coves along the way, which complicated the search.

The investigation is still underway.