Divers have recovered the body of one of the two boaters reported missing on West Lake Okoboji. The dock barge sank sometime Saturday afternoon with two Estherville residents, 31-year-old Matthew Molacek and 12- year-old Colin Helmers, on board. Dickinson County Sheriff Greg Baloun says one of the bodies was located just prior to today’s afternoon press conference. He says the divers locate Molacek approximately 12:30, and are still searching for Colin. The family says Colin was an avid swimmer. Mark Petersen with the Okoboji Underwater Search and Rescue Team says Molacek’s body was located near the sunken barge.He says the details are “a little iffy” but Matthew was found about 20 feet south of the wreckage of the barge, in about 66 feet of water. Sheriff Baloun says Colin’s father, Randy Helmers, owns Donaldson Dock Company of Estherville. It was his 28-foot barge that sunk near Gull Point. Molacek was an employee working with Colin. Mark Petersen with the search team says the conditions are ideal for dive rescue. Peterson says visibility’s about 25 feet under the water but silt is stirred up as they move and muddies the view — though he says they’er used to working in gravel pits and small farm ponds. The worse problems here is the depth. The search is near an area locals refer to as “the hole.” It’s part of the lake that is 136-feet deep and is very close to the sunken barge. Molacek called a friend on his cell phone to report the barge was taking in water late Saturday afternoon. That was the only clue authorities had to go on. The boat was located Sunday night with sonar equipment near Gull Point. The search for Colin Helmers will continue at least until it gets dark. Over 60 volunteers, including 25 divers from three states, are helping with the recovery efforts. The Iowa Great Lakes Chapter of the American Red Cross is feeding the divers. Sheriff Baloun says the Helmers family is at a remote location on the lake where they can watch the recovery efforts.
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