Trinity Co. authorities continue search for man in Lake Livingston

Trinity County Constable Woody Wallace
Trinity County Constable Woody Wallace
Texas Game Wardens use sonar equipment to search for missing man.
Texas Game Wardens use sonar equipment to search for missing man.
Trinity Volunteer Fire assists in search effort.
Trinity Volunteer Fire assists in search effort.

TRINITY COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - By Whitney Grunder - bio | email

Trinity County, TX (KTRE) - Trinity County law enforcement officers and emergency responders continued their search for a Louisiana man who apparently fell off his boat in Lake Livingston Friday morning.

They called off the search Friday at nightfall and picked it back up Saturday morning at daybreak. Constable Woody Wallace said they would continue the search for 66-year-old Clarence Verrett as long as there is sunlight.

The search was called off again Saturday night. Wallace said they would try again Sunday morning, this time with assistance from deputies in Louisiana.

Responders have a good idea of where to search, focusing on an area around the size of a football field.

"We will still keep looking you know but chances are we're probably doing a recovery effort," said Wallace, who is determined not to think of the worst outcome, with his focus on finding the avid fisherman.

Workers are dragging the lake and using sonar equipment in an attempt to find a body.

"There are two teams of Parks and Wildlife out there running sonar side scans which they can actually kind of view what's underneath the water," explained Wallace.

With the Trinity River flowing into the lake and windy conditions, rescuers are faced with many obstacles.

"The area we are searching is right on the river's edge to the lake and it drops off to some areas about 100 feet," said Wallace. "We've got white caps and the wind is probably blowing at about 20 miles per hour and that is rough water for small boats. They could capsize and take on water real easy."

Authorities aren't sure if Verrett was wearing his life jacket, making for a dangerous situation.

"Especially when you are by yourself, there are a number of things that could happen. That's why boaters have always stressed to make sure you wear your life jacket and a life jacket that fits properly in the event that you do go overboard," explained Wallace.

Family members said Verrett goes fishing in the lake every day.

Wallace said on Friday that a man was fishing from a bridge and watching Verrett check his trot lines. At one moment he looked up and saw Verrett was no longer in the boat and the motor was still running, forcing the boat to move in circles in the lake.

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