BIRDSEYE — Conservation officers are investigating a drowning of a 3-year-old boy at Patoka Lake on Monday.
According to a press release from the state conservation office, the incident occurred near the Little Patoka Boat Ramp at about 3 p.m. when the boy, Jace Stallings, of Deputy, had been swimming from a boat just prior to the incident.
Several boats were anchored together offshore, along with the boat from which the boy had been swimming.
Statements obtained from those at the scene indicated that the victim was wearing a lifejacket while swimming, but it was removed after he exited due to being cold and wanting to warm up.
After one of the boats left the group, it was noticed that the boy was missing and a search ensued. The boy was last seen sitting along the edge of the boat on a cooler just prior going missing.
The victim was located at around 4:08 p.m. by Indiana Conservation Officer divers and was transported to Harrison County Hospital by Crawford County EMS personnel, where he was treated and later pronounced.
Other responders on scene were members of the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department, English Volunteer Fire Department, and Air Evac.
In the release, conservation officers urged everyone to wear lifejackets in or around all waterways, whether swimming, in a boat or along the shore.