Search for boater now recovery effort

Published 6:28 pm Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A search and rescue mission for a man who fell from a small fishing boat into Lake Purdy is now a recovery effort.

The Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service will give the Hoover and Jefferson County dive teams a rest, said Battalion Chief C.W. Mardis. The teams have been searching for the missing boater since Tuesday afternoon and resumed their search this morning.

“We’re scaling back. We’re trying to give [the dive teams] some rest, but the recovery will still be ongoing. We’re going to continue tomorrow morning,” Mardis said.

According to officials, a witness saw the boater fall into the lake at about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. The boater, who has not yet been identified, was wearing a life jacket, but appeared unable to swim.

Lake Purdy, a popular spot for avid fishermen, is located 25 minutes east of downtown Birmingham on Highway 119, and is one of Birmingham’s water supply facilities.