The search for two missing boaters is now into day three and authorities are saying it is now a (body) recovery operation.

Saturday evening around 7:30 a 9-1-1 call came to Umatilla County Sheriff's Deputies that two boaters were missing. According to authorities, the people, one identified as a woman, were hanging on to the back of a recreational boat heading towards the Sand Station Recreation area about five miles east of McNary Dam on the Columbia River.

They were headed to a popular area called Bobby's Beach. When the boat arrived to shore, the two people were missing. It is unknown how long they were gone. Officials say the two were not wearing life jackets.

A search of the river, including use of a Benton County patrol boat with multiple searchlights and Columbia Basin Dive Rescue failed to turn up anything. The search continued Sunday with marine units from several local county agencies.

The search is ongoing, however.


The two victims from Saturday night's boating incident are 44-year-old Janice Arsenault of Umatilla, and 20-year-old Trenton Williams from Idaho. Sonar-equipped search boats and other such tools are being used to comb the shoreline where divers and officials say larger items are likely to drift or submerge due to currents.

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