Family shares memories of missing boater found in Kentucky Lake

The search has ended for a missing boater in Marshall County.

The body of Jesse Nickens, 36, of Almo, Kentucky was found around 10:40 Monday morning in Kentucky Lake.

Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources Capt. Garry Clark says another boater spotted the body floating in the middle of the lake just west of the Rock Quarry.

Jesse’s mom, Robyn Nickens, told me her son was a two-time cancer survivor who loved to be out on the lake.

Robyn says Jesse was not wearing a life jacket while he was boating with friends on Saturday. That night, he slipped and fell into the water. She says the friends on boat heard Jesse yell for help. One of them dove in to try to rescue him, but Robyn says they couldn’t find her son.

After it happened, another family member says they spent the next 30 hours searching for Jesse.

Marshall County Rescue Squad Chief Kurt Schmidt says the search was a little more challenging than some in the past. He says Jesse’s friends weren’t familiar with the lake and couldn’t point out the exact spot where Jesse went overboard.

"Eventually, we were able to use cell phone camera shots that they were taking during the trip," says Schmidt. "So we were able to plot a course based on about the time they left to the last picture taken."

Schmidt says the last time his team handled a drowning like this was about a year ago.

Marshall County Deputy Coroner Barry Taylor has requested a toxicology report. He says it could be a number of weeks until they get the results.

The family is asking that in lieu of flowers, people instead support the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and make a donation in Jesse’s name.

You can make a donation online by clicking here. Make sure to mark the box "Dedicate My Donation" and include the name Jesse Nickens.

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