Body recovered at Pawnee Lake | Lincoln man identified

Published: Jun. 1, 2018 at 5:47 PM CDT
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After hours of searching, the body of a 31-year-old Lincoln man has been recovered from Pawnee Lake, according to the Malcolm Fire and Rescue chief.

The body of Travis Wilkins, 31, of Lincoln, was recovered just after sundown on Saturday night.

According to Nebraska Game and Parks, the body of 31-year-old Travis Wilkins was recovered. An autopsy will be conducted.

The search, which was classified as a recovery mission on Friday night, resumed Saturday morning.

Rescue crews were called to the west side of Pawnee Lake at about 5 p.m. Friday on a report of a possible drowning.

Authorities said divers were searching for a 31-year-old Lincoln man.

LFR said the man fell off a tube that was being pulled by a jet ski.

Nebraska Game and Parks said when the tube capsized, another man and a 4-year-old were able to reach the shore safely.

Densberger said when the watercraft came back around to pick up the man, they could not find him.

Only the 4-year-old was wearing a life jacket, authorities said.

Rescue crews used a boat equipped with sonar and side-sonar to help locate him.

Densberger said LSO along with the Nebraska State Patrol is handling the investigation side of the incident.

Game and Parks is urging people to wear life jackets at all times when near water.

Game and Parks also reminds anyone who visits a lake this summer to keep the following in mind:

Wear a Life Jacket – Children under age 13 and anybody on a personal watercraft are required by law to wear a United States Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device. People being towed by a boat on skis, a tube, or other similar device also must wear a life jacket.

Avoid Alcohol – Boat operators can become impaired with less alcohol than motor vehicle drivers due to heat and dehydration. Boating Under the Influence is a criminal violation and is enforced actively in Nebraska.

Have All Required Safety Equipment – This will help boaters be prepared if an emergency occurs. Life jackets, throw cushions, fire extinguishers and bailing devices are required on most boats. For a list of what is required on a boat, check out the 2018 Boating Guide at

Be Wary of Surroundings – The best boat operators constantly are looking around for other boats, personal watercraft, swimmers, stumps and other hazards. Speeds in excess of 5 mph are prohibited if within 30 yards of any other vessel

Take a Boating Safety Course – Anyone born after Dec. 31, 1985, who operates a motorboat or personal watercraft in Nebraska must have successfully completed the Nebraska boating safety course. Find classes and register at

Authorities are searching for a man in Lake Pawnee.

Posted by 1011 News on Friday, June 1, 2018