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Man, 41, missing after fire on boat

Fri., Nov. 28, 2008

Two men rescued on Lake Pend Oreille

A Rathdrum man is missing after a portable heater ignited a boat fire Thursday morning on Lake Pend Oreille in Bayview, Idaho.

Two other men on the boat – Daniel J. Daffern and Clinton V. Creamer, both 55 – were rescued, fire officials said. Creamer was taken to Kootenai County Medical Center to be treated for hypothermia.

Divers searched for more than an hour for 41-year-old Scott A. Wright, said Kootenai County sheriff’s Sgt. Matt Street.

“The water temperature was 38 degrees, and the maximum depth in that area ranges from 500 to 700 feet, which is well beyond dive limits for public safety divers,” Street said.

Nearby residents reported the boat fire about 10:40 a.m., officials said.

Daffern, Creamer and Wright, who had gone to the lake for a day of fishing, abandoned the boat after it caught fire.

Private boaters rescued Creamer, who was the only one wearing a life jacket, and Daffern before firefighters arrived.

The Timberlake Fire Protection District’s boat doused the flames on the vessel.

Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department divers searched the water for the missing boater until 12:30 p.m., said district Chief Jack Krill.

“After the fire was extinguished, the boat began taking on water and sank in approximately 700 feet of water,” Krill said.

Thirty gallons of fuel were on the craft. A light sheen of fuel could be seen on the water, but officials determined it was a low risk after consulting with environmental authorities.

The fuel was not expected to reach the shorelines, Krill said. The fire district will monitor the water over the next few days.


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