DNR investigates drowning at Patoka Lake

By Herald Staff

PATOKA LAKE — Indiana Department of Natural Resources conservation officers are investigating the death of a man at Patoka Lake.

The body of Travis Ray St. Martin, 33, of Racine, Wisconsin, was recovered by conservation officer public safety divers around 7:34 p.m. Sunday, after he went missing in the water.

Around 2:51 p.m. Sunday, a conservation officer was on boat patrol on the lake when witnesses alerted him to a possible drowning, and he immediately responded. Multiple 911 calls came in shortly after, reporting that a man had disappeared in the water.

Investigation revealed that two females were aboard a towable tube affixed to a stationary rental boat by a rope when they fell off the tube and struggled to stay afloat.

Multiple people from the rental boat jumped into the water assist, and rescued one of the females. One of the people who jumped from the rental boat, St. Martin, disappeared under the water.

The other female from the tube, K’neisha Adams, 25, of Burke, Virginia, was rescued by a group of people from a separate boat. Adams was airlifted to University of Louisville Hospital and was later released from the hospital

The Crawford County coroner’s office ruled St. Martin's preliminary cause of death as accidental drowning. No alcohol or drugs were suspected to be contributing factors.

Although adequate life jackets were present on the rental boat, none were in use. Indiana conservation officers strongly encourage wearing a life jacket when recreating on or around bodies of water.

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