High waves and windy conditions are being blamed for a fatal boat accident that claimed two lives last October on West Lake Okoboji. The DNR says examination of the sunken barge showed no physical damage. 31-year-old Matthew Molacek of Wallingford and 12-year-old Collin Helmers of Estherville were were using the barge to remove docks on October 23rd. They called for help from a friend, saying their barge was inoperable and was taking in water. Molacek’s body was recovered from the lake October 25th and the barge was brought to the surface three days later. Helmer’s body has still not been found. Local authorities and volunteers have been searching the lake for more than two months. Dive teams with the latest in technology and sonar have been unable to find the missing Estherville boy. A submarine was even brought in and it was unable to locate Hellmers. A foundation has been set up to purchase equipment for the crews helping in the search to located Hellmers. Donations can be sent to Bank Midwest in Okoboji and Northstar Bank in Estherville.
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