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Search for missing Lake Mead boaters scaled back

A National Park Service official said searches have been scaled back to routine patrols in a Lake Mead area where two Las Vegas-area fishermen were reported missing from a capsized boat more than two weeks ago.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area spokeswoman Christie Vanover said Tuesday that rangers are continuing air and water patrols near where the boat and body of a third man were found Feb. 22.

The service has not identified the missing men.

Authorities say they were reported missing late Feb. 21 after they didn’t call in for the night.

The body of Oscar Dixon Jr., 48, of North Las Vegas was found the next day about a half-mile from the overturned 16-foot fiberglass boat a few miles from Echo Bay on the lake’s Overton Arm.

Longtime dive instructor Steve Schafer, who has helped recover drowning victims from Lake Mead, said there isn’t much more the service can do at this point. The search area is just too large to cover all of it with remote-controlled submarines and divers, he said

“It’s tough enough (to find someone) when you have a 911 call or an eyewitness,” said Schafer, who owns a marine salvage company called Earth Resource Group. “In this case, there’s just no point last seen; there’s just no good point last seen. Where do you start from?”

Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Henry Brean contributed to this report.

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