NewsCovering Kentucky


Search for missing boater on Kentucky Lake continues

Pontoon driver accused of driving under influence
Posted at 5:33 PM, Sep 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-03 17:33:53-04

(LEX 18) — The search for a missing boater on Kentucky Lake continued Tuesday.

On Sunday night, 22-year-old Samantha Ratledge, of Scott City, Missouri, fell overboard from a pontoon boat.

Members of Calloway County Fire Rescue, along with crews from Marshall County and the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife, searched Kentucky Lake all day Monday.

“It's something we worry about because we know it's a popular time for many people to be on the lake,” said Bill Call, the director of Calloway County Emergency Management.

Fish & Wildlife officials say Ratledge was on a pontoon boat around 8:00 p.m. Sunday when witnesses say she got out of her seat and crossed the safety rail at the front of the moving boat. Then, she fell overboard. Using sonar, crews did find an object during their search Monday night.

“The standard protocol is to approach it with the sonar units traveling in different directions to try to get kind of a 3D picture of what's going on,” said Call.

However, the object was later believed to be a log. Crews ended the search Monday when it got too dark, but picked back up Tuesday morning.

“We wish it was different circumstances,” said Call. “But we'd like to bring her home to her family.”

The man who was operating the pontoon boat, 49-year-old James Nance of Calloway County, was arrested. He's accused of boating under the influence of alcohol.