Relatives kept up a lakeside vigil Tuesday as crews searched in frigid conditions for two young duck hunters who disappeared when their boat capsized last weekend, leaving one of its four occupants dead and another barely conscious when he was rescued.
Searchers were using a sonar device to comb a stretch of Kentucky Lake in far Western Kentucky, said Mark Marraccini, a spokesman for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.
Larry Burgess, an uncle of McKenzie Stanley, one of the missing hunters, said, "We're pushing 72 hours now, so the families are not only devastated but also starting to wear down with no sleep."
Lori Scott, the mother of the second missing teen, said in a phone interview that search crews were dealing with "unbearable" conditions while searching for her son, Jacob Scott, 17, and Stanley in the cold, blustery weather.
The tragedy has shaken the Mayfield area, home to the four teens. About 400 people attended a Monday night prayer service at First Christian Church in Mayfield, where the teen who died was a member.
"Our community is pretty much turned upside down," Burgess said by phone Tuesday.
The search focused on a small area of the popular recreational haven, Marraccini said. Marraccini said their 14-foot boat was recovered over the weekend.
Burgess, whose wife is a sister of Stanley's mother, said relatives of the four young hunters were keeping vigil at a point along the shore where they could see the searchers.
Temperatures fell into the upper 20s Tuesday afternoon, with northwesterly winds whipping at 10 to 15 mph.
Asked if relatives held out hope of finding the teens alive, Burgess said, "I think everyone understands we just need to get these boys out of the water. We need to recover them. We need some type of closure."
Lori Scott said the grieving families have "given up on the miracle. We just need to get our boys recovered so we can have the proper burial."
Burgess said it was a "miracle" one of the teens was rescued. Water temperatures in the lake have been in the 40s since the accident last Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.
Trevor Williams, 18, died, and Tyler Heathcott was barely conscious when he was plucked from the cold water.
Burgess said the four young hunters were "good kids" and avid hunters.
Stanley, 18, a senior at Mayfield High School, planned to study criminal justice at Murray State University, Burgess said. Williams and Heathcott were also seniors at Mayfield High.
Jacob Scott, a senior at Graves County High School, was planning to study electronics technology at a technical college after high school, his mother said.