UNION TWP., Pa. - Crews spent Sunday night and most of Monday searching for a 26-year-old man who went missing when four people on a boat ended up in the Hopewell Lake at French Creek State Park in Union Township.
"We had crews out here almost immediately from the park," said James Wassell, the park's manager, "and we had dispatch sending in lots of... crews from our local fire companies. The National Park Service is here."
Officials used drones, K9s, divers, kayaks and other boats to search the lake and surrounding areas. At one point, they found debris from the boat.
Wassell said the man had been spending time by the lake with family. About 5:30 p.m. Sunday, four family members decided to go fishing in a boat, which capsized, he said.
"They ended up in the water," Wassell said. "Some family members appeared to have struggled getting back into the boat."
Wassell said first responders rescued three of the four family members immediately. He said two of them were wearing life jackets and the other was a good swimmer. He said the 26-year-old couldn't make it back on the boat.
The man's older brother, who was not on the boat at the time, told a slightly different story. He said his brother was out on the lake with a few friends: "You know, they were drinking a little bit, horsing around. My brother, I guess he jumped off the boat, and you know, he could swim, so nobody thought anything of it."
The brother said witnesses told him his brother disappeared beneath the water.
"The boat capsizing and everybody swimming and all that, that's not what happened. That's not what happened at all," he said, "and it's not valid. My little brother's missing."
Wassell said his biggest tip to anyone venturing out on the water is to wear a life jacket.
"Water recreation is dangerous any way you look at it. You never know what could happen when you're in the water, and no one expects to end up in the water when they do," he said. "The big thing is to wear a life jacket at all times, no matter how good of a swimmer you are.
"Having a life jacket on is key."