COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Rescue efforts continued Monday for a second day at Lake Oliver in north Columbus after two people went missing Sunday evening. The search started around 5:30 p.m. when 35-year-old Lloyd Cabiness and a 15-year-old male went under while swimming with about 8 other people.
Speaking exclusively to the teen's best friend who was among the party in the boat, the teen, who wanted to remain anonymous, was emotional in recalling those last moments the two were last seen.
"We jumped in and we were going to swim; the water was heavy and we really couldn't swim," he said. "He was swimming the fastest. He touched the boat and it drifted away from him and he panicked. I tried to crank the boat up and go get him, but the boat would not crank at first."
At that point, rain and hail started pouring down on the group of friends and family members, which made rescue efforts even more treacherous.
"Hail and rain were hitting me in my face and I really couldn't see anything," he said.
The teen then managed to crank the boat and started looking for everyone. He managed to find the boat owner and pulled her to safety; she was wearing a life jacket, according to the teenager.
"She was crying and screaming and we started looking for Lloyd and another young girl," explained the teen.
Another boater had already picked up the young girl, while the woman the teen was with said the currents had swept Lloyd away as he was trying to help the missing 15-year-old boy.
"The last time I saw Lloyd, he was telling me, 'throw me the rope; throw me the rope' and I didn't see him anymore," added the teen.
Meanwhile, Lloyd's family spent the day hoping rescue teams would shift their efforts to searching along the shore.
"No one's looking on foot, they are giving me the run-around saying there are houses over there, but ain't nobody on foot over there and they could be just lying there," said Tonia Edmonds, Lloyd's sister.
Department of Natural Resources sergeant Jim Bradfield told Edmonds they are doing the best they can.
The five-member crew from the DNR along with crews from Columbus Fire and EMS are using sonar equipment to find targets in the small body of water that's about 50 feet deep at its deepest point.
Search efforts will resume Tuesday morning.