A drowning at Patoka Lake claimed the life of a three year old boy yesterday afternoon.

Indiana Conservation Officers say 3-year-old Jayce Stallings of Deputy had been swimming from a boat near the Little Patoka Boat Ramp at about 3 pm yesterday afternoon when the drowning occurred.

Officers say several boats had been anchored together offshore with the boat that Stallings had been swimming from. Witnesses say Stallings was wearing a life jacket while swimming, but he removed it after exiting the water due to wanting to warm up after being cold.

After one of the boats left, the group noticed that Stallings had gone missing and a search began. Stallings had last been seen sitting on a cooler along the edge of the boat just before he went missing. He was found just before 4:10 pm by divers and was taken to Harrison County Hospital where he was treated, but later pronounced dead.

Crawford County Sheriff’s deputies, Crawford County EMS, the English Volunteer Fire Department, and Air Evac all assisted.

Indiana Conservation Officers urge everyone to wear lifejackets in or around all waterways, whether swimming, in a boat or along the shore.