Game wardens search for man missing near Buchanan Dam


LLANO COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Game wardens are looking for a man that went missing near Buchanan Dam late Saturday afternoon.

More than 12 hours of searching, and still no luck. Search and rescue crews started looking for the man after they got a call around 4:30 p.m. Saturday. They continued the search around 7:30 a.m. Sunday at the Big Chief RV and Cabin Resort.

“It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack,” said Captain Malcom Wilke, a game warden with Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Texas Game Wardens, the LCRA and local fire department have been looking for the 30-year-old man.

Game wardens say a family tried to anchor their boat on the lake Saturday night, but the wind started to move it. That’s when they tried to get their children who were out swimming, back in the boat, but one of them got tired.

“(He) was getting fatigued and the victim went in after the child, and was able to get him back to the boat, and he in turn got tired and was unable to stay up,” said Cpt. Wilke.

“It hits close to home when it’s 60 feet away.”

Darren Pershall can see the lake from his RV. He knows how rough the waters can get.

“Being not a small guy, it’s not easy to lift 230 pounds up into a boat, so you don’t realize that until you’re actually trying to get in the boat and you’re tired,” explains Pershall.

When Pershall and his wife are on the water, safety is number one, especially with their four-year-old son.

“We make sure he has his life jacket on before we even put him on the boat, he has to have that on,” says Pershall’s wife, Regina Roe.

Game wardens say the missing swimmer was not wearing a life vest.

“They tried to throw a life vest to him, of course the wind took it away. One of the other occupants of the boat tried to swim to him and take him a life vest but by the time she could get to him, it was too late,” explains Cpt. Wilke. “I don’t care how good a swimmer you are, wear that life vest, it will save your life.”

In the meantime, rescue crews are determined.

“Hopefully they’ll be able to locate the victim and we’ll be able to make a recovery and have some closure for the family,” said Wilke.

The victim and his family were staying in cabins at Big Chief RV and Cabin Resort. Game wardens say they had rented a pontoon boat.

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