Fishermen Search Tactic Changes, Community Showing Support

STOKESDALE, N.C. -- Stokes County Emergency Services are using a new search tactic after five days of searching without finding two missing boaters at Belews Lake.

They've changed to a limited continuous search. Multiple agencies will search but on a limited basis. They will also conduct daily water surface searches.

While family members look for a sign, friends and the town of Kernersville are banding together to help support.

Both missing men are from Kernersville. The idea started with Greta Shuler who is a family friend of James "Pat" Bohenstiel. Greta took food from her business' food stash to start a collection. On Monday, they went around to restaurants in Kernersville asking for food donations. They got enough to feed the missing men's families for days.

Greta says Pat's sister, Page, was there when Greta's sister was sick so she wanted to do the same for their family. "Page was just so dedicated to the needs and the care of my sister. She stayed with her day and night. She spent the night with her and was just there to the very end. So when I heard that Page's brother was missing, I immediately felt like that's what my sister would've wanted me to do for her friend Page."

If you'd like to make a food or monetary donation, call Greta Shuler at Shuler Health Care Assisted Living at 996-0772.

Tuesday marked the sixth day for the search. On Monday, rescuers had the assistance of an new out-of-state rescue team--the Virginia State Police, who are equipped with "sophisticated" sonar.

Stokes County EMS director Greg Collins told WFMY News 2 searchers called in the VA State Police Sunday night, and the team had a boat in the water by 7 a.m. Monday. He explained the team has sonar that is "higher level" than that of the other search teams. He said the VA State Police's sonar can go deeper and is higher resolution.

Related: Missing Men at Belews Lake Identified

Collins said search teams have, day by day, expanded the search farther beyond the "hot hole" area surrounding the Duke Energy Steam Station, but searchers have not ruled out this or any other areas of the lake. Police dogs have also assisted recovery teams on water and around the shore line.

The Stokes County Sheriff's Office has identified the missing boaters as 27-year-old Jacob Line and 44-year-old James Bohenstiel from Kernersville.

Collins said the lake continues to remain open to the public, but police are ensuring recreational boaters do not jeopardize the efficiency of the search or safety of the search teams.

A total of 54 agencies and 415 rescuers have participated in the search to find the missing fishermen.


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