Searches Underway for Missing Boaters on Local Lakes

By Beacon Staff

POLSON — Authorities were searching Monday for two men reported missing after separately taking their boats out on two western Montana lakes.

Nathan Bird, 36, of Huson, left the Paradise Cove Campground for Flathead Lake on Sunday morning in a 21-foot boat with his two dogs, Lake County sheriff’s spokeswoman Karen Sargeant told KERR-AM.

The boat was found adrift about 1 ½ hours later with only one of the dogs aboard. The other dog was found wet and shivering on shore, but there was no sign of Bird.

Authorities began their search that afternoon and resumed it again Monday morning. The search became a recovery operation after a helicopter later flew over nearby islands and saw no sign of Bird, the Missoulian reported.

A search also was underway for a 69-year-old Great Falls man missing since he took his boat out on Placid Lake on Friday.

DelRay Saeman’s boat was spotted on the lake Friday afternoon with nobody inside, the Great Falls Tribune reported.

The search has included a helicopter and a dive team. Saeman’s family members say they are hoping his body can be found so they can begin the grieving process.

The retired business owner’s stepdaughter, Jenny Reeves, said the family is appreciative of the compassion and dedication shown by the search and rescue teams.

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