In the middle of Orlando’s Lake Hiawassee, around 4:00 on Sunday afternoon, an overturned boat was discovered. After the boat was reached and righted by the Orlando Police Department, they discovered a good amount of fishing equipment still inside of the hold. After a lengthy search that included a team of divers from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the authorities were able to uncover a wallet and several personal items that belonged to a man. According to the report, the police search also discovered a truck parked nearby that they believe was used to launch the overturned boat. Furthermore, it is believed that this car belongs to a second man.
Using the various pieces of information discovered in the truck and the wallet, the police were able to identify both of the individuals inside the boat. Only one of them, the 48-year-old Steven Lavell Nichols, has been named. His identity was confirmed on Monday.
Currently, the search is still underway for the two men, with a helicopter and sonar equipment being brought in to assist the authorities in their investigation.
The families of both individuals were notified as soon as the police discovered the identities of the individuals. Neither family has heard from their missing loved one since the two of them set off for the lake, although both families still hold on to the hope that the two men might still be alive somewhere. According to the families, both of the two men are good boaters, a fact which only complicates the matter as it is not clear just what happened to cause the boat to overturn.
Authorities are looking into several possibilities for the disappearance of the two men. Weather, which has been unusual in the Orlando area these past few days, is high on their list, although at this point there does not seem to be much information to confirm this suspicion. The other possibility, and always something to consider in Florida lakes, is that the capsized boat and subsequent disappearance of the two men is due to alligators. A Sergeant with the Orlando Police Department, Eduardio Bernal, however indicated that no alligators have been spotted in the lake recently.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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