Sinking Boat Mystery Partially Solved

Sinking Boat Mystery Partially Solved
By: Carly O'keefe
WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Il. -- Conservation Police now say a boat found sinking Saturday night in Crab Orchard Lake was previously reported stolen.
The owners of the boat, Debbie and Joshua West of West Frankfort, Illinois, say the theft occurred last weekend. According to the West's, the boat disappeared from their yard between last Saturday night and early Sunday morning.
Debbie West says police told her the boat sank near the Route 148 boat ramp because the thieves forgot to put the plug in the boat, which caused it to take on water.
Initially when police received the report of a boat sinking in a shallow area of crab orchard with no one onboard, they feared a drowning had taken place. Luckily that wasn't the case.
"We were definitely relieved when we realized there hadn't been a fatality," said site manager Dan Frisk of Crab Orchard Wildlife Refuge.
West says she and her husband had a padlock on the boat trailer to prevent someone from hitching it up and stealing it. West believes the thieves cut the lock and stole the boat--trailer and all.
Crab Orchard officials say the boat did not appear to have sustained any major damage. Police would not say whether they have any suspects in the case.