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'Very sad, sad situation': Crews still searching for 71-year-old Dublin man on Lake Sinclair

Joseph Roberson has been missing since about 8:30 Tuesday night.

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. — Crews spent all day Wednesday searching for a 71-year-old Dublin man on Lake Sinclair.

Joseph Roberson and his wife would often go on fishing trips at Lake Sinclair, but now he's been missing since about 8:30 Tuesday night.

Chris McKearney has lived on the lake for more than 10 years now.

He says, unfortunately, the lake has experienced tragedy like this before. 

"It's obviously sad. This is the third one just in the last two or three months, right here in the same little area," McKearney said.

Sgt. Bubba Stanford with the Department of Natural Resources has worked the lake for nearly 18 years. What's most concerning to him is the frigid temperatures.

"Water temps in the high 40s, nearly 50 degrees, so it is very cold in the water. Also, it is kind of breezy today, so it's kind of hard to stay in one area. That could be something they had difficulty with last night as well," Stanford said.

The Robersons took on water about 3/4 miles out and called 911. They found Reba Roberson nearly 20 minutes later wearing a lifejacket but nearly unconscious.

Her husband's lifejacket was floating nearby, but Stanford wants to reiterate the importance of getting that jacket on when on the water. 

"Lifejackets do save lives, as it did Mrs. Roberson last night. As far as Mr. Roberson, not sure if he was not able to get his on or, for some reason, came out of it. We don't know. We may not ever know," Stanford said.

Reba Roberson suffered from severe hypothermia but is now in the hospital recovering. 

"Main thing is you just pray for the family -- very sad, sad situation," McKearney said. 

Sgt. Stanford says he hopes he can provide closure for the Roberson family.

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