Search continues for apparent drowning victim

NEW TOWN The search continued Thursday for a man who apparently drowned Tuesday night in Lake Sakakawea, west of New Town.

Authorities have not yet released the name of the man, although a prayer service was held for him Thursday afternoon in the Three Affiliated Tribes Administration building, west of New Town, with about 70 people attending.

The man was with family members on a pontoon when the incident occurred north of the Four Bears Bridge, said Glenda Baker Embry, public relations officer for the tribes.

A command center was set up for law enforcement and other emergency responders near the 4 Bears Marina, west of New Town, Embry said. Marle Baker, tribal Fire Management director, is serving as commander of the search operation.

Besides a search of the lake by tribal, state and other emergency responders, a ground search organized by V. Judy Brugh, tribal executive secretary and Four Bears representative to the tribal council, was scheduled for late Thursday afternoon. Volunteers were to check the shoreline on both sides of the lake.

Divers from the Jamestown area also were onsite, Embry said.

The Three Affiliated Tribes Fish and Wildlife Division received a call about 11 p.m. Tuesday that a man had gone overboard. Family members searched for him but could not find him, Embry said. She said tribal personnel searched that night and until 3 a.m. Wednesday when it became too dark to continue the search. The search resumed later Wednesday.

The incident happened north of the Four Bears Bridge, although an earlier report said it happened about one mile north of the bridge and one-half mile from the Fort Berthold Reservation line on the west side of the lake. Authorities clarified Thursday the latter was the location the family was at when they called for help.