Hunters survive after boat wreck in Kosciusko County lake

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KOSCIUSKO COUNTY, Indiana (WPTA) – A hunter is hospitalized and another man is safe after the boat they were in sank on Lake Webster on Saturday morning.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources said the Kosciusko County dispatch center was contacted around 11:15 a.m. by a home alarm company that had been alerted to an unauthorized entry to a waterfront home. Lake. Authorities later learned that the alarm was triggered by one of the hunters, after the two found themselves in dire straits.

Despite freezing temperatures and gusts of wind forecast to reach 80 km / h, Trenton Stackhouse, 27, of Milford, and Darick Stiles, 27, of Warsaw, set out to hunt waterfowl near Epworth Forest. Investigators said the men soon realized that conditions made such activity reckless. They tried to get back to the boat launch, but big waves passed their jon boat and it started to sink.

According to the DNR: Moments before their boat was completely submerged, Stackhouse and Stiles unsuccessfully attempted to don their life jackets and were forced to grab several waterfowl decoys and a floating rifle case for buoyancy to swim the several hundred meters to the shore.

Once ashore, Stackhouse became unresponsive due to severe hypothermia. Stiles then entered an unoccupied house to find shelter to save Stackhouse.

Stackhouse was taken to Kosciusko Community Hospital with severe hypothermia.

The incident is under investigation and Indiana conservation officers are reminding the public that Indiana law requires lifejackets to be readily accessible and in good condition for all occupants of the boat during navigation. Hunters using boats should also anticipate severe environmental conditions associated with strong winds and storms.

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