Texas Game Wardens respond to boating accident over weekend

On Sunday morning Texas Game Wardens recovered the body of a boat operator who was reported missing Friday afternoon.

"Water, that one unforgiving beast," says Cody Jones, boating law administrator with Texas Parks & Wildlife, Texas Game Wardens. "The great equalizer and when you're talking about trying to recover victims who have perished in water it's very difficult when you consider the boating traffic the atmospheric conditions, the waves the water, depth and visibility below the waterline. We employ a lot of technology to clear up that picture."

An unforgiving beast that unfortunately claimed the life of 44-year-old Jesse Marcus Estes.

 "Unfortunately this weekend we had a number of incidences that occurred," Jones said. "On Lake LBJ a vessel collided with a large wave and everyone went overboard. One of the occupants didn't resurface."

Jones says Estes was the boat operator for a group of people on July 12. Recovery efforts lasted almost all day the following day, and Texas Game Wardens say efforts were limited because of high boat traffic in the lake and numerous underwater obstacles like large rocks.

Because of these obstacles, Jones says they had some extra help.

"The K-9 Dexter who's on one of our K-9 teams he alerted to the presence of what was human remains," Jones said. "The local game wardens were able to locate the victim shortly thereafter. Our human remains K-9s are highly trained dogs that are used in a number of applications both land and water searches. They're placed on one of our patrol boats and taken out on the water and do a technical search pattern they've learned."

The K-9 pinpointed where Estes' body was not far away from where the accident originally happened. Jones says with much respect to the victims, the Texas Game Wardens K-9s are able to pick up on a scent feet and feet away from the surface of the water while they stay on the boat.

"Their nose is what does us a tremendous amount of effort I mean that's what brings us success in bringing these victims home," Jones said.

Jones says the Texas Game Wardens go through a 7-month academy training in house. They train in highly technical situations like swift water rescue and make sure all game wardens are capable to integrate with the U.S. Coast Guard and all of their partners across the country.

It doesn't stop there. Texas Game Wardens are seen on more than just the water.

"We enforce all laws of the state whether it's traffic code, penal code to every part in between," Jones said. "Alcohol and beverage code, your game wardens they protect and conserve resources."