By Angela Musallam

LAKE NATOMA (CBS13) — Search and rescue crews continue to comb through Lake Natoma for a missing boater.

According to a witness, the man was in his rowboat and suddenly fell into the water.

Officials say the victim is in his 60s and was not wearing a life jacket. His rowboat was found on Monday afternoon, but his body still has not been found.

“Our boats have been using sonar and searching visually. When this was first reported, a CHP helicopter began circling around the area to try and locate the man,” said Capt. Adam Spiva with Sac Metro Fire.

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Hours of searching Lake Natoma from above and below, there’s still no sign of the missing boater. A witness called 911 to report seeing a man fall from his rowboat just before 11 a.m.

He says the man never surfaced.

“He was not wearing a life jacket, and that’s why he went under the water so rapidly,” Spiva said.

Spiva says Lake Natoma’s waters can be treacherous during winter.
He says even the best swimmers could struggle to keep afloat.

“The water temperature is about 49 degrees, so when a person falls into that temperature of water, the average person will begin gasping, maybe start hyperventilating, they’re gonna panic a little bit,” Spiva added.

He says the chances of the missing boater surviving are slim.

“After a couple minutes in that water, they’re gonna lose muscle control, the ability to swim, you’re gonna lose the ability to keep your head above water,” he added.

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Dark and murky waters challenged rescue crews Monday, as they continue to scour the lake for any sign of the missing man.

First responders say they don’t know why the man was boating in the water Monday morning.

A CBS 13 crew tried reaching out to the family on Monday, but they said they wanted privacy.

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