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3 duck hunters found dead in Texas bay

Posted at 5:42 PM, Jan 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-08 17:42:19-05

The bodies of three men who disappeared during a duck hunting trip on Texas’ Gulf Coast have been found, authorities said Sunday.

Authorities identified the hunters as Starett Burke of Wallisville, Texas; Spencer Hall of Mont Belvieu, Texas; and Chris Ruckman from Dayton, Texas. Their bodies were recovered Saturday in a bay near Corpus Christi, the US Coast Guard said.

The three men had reportedly launched their 17-foot, flat-bottomed boat in a bay between Port Lavaca and Palacios before sunrise Friday morning, the Coast Guard said. Ruckman’s girlfriend called the Coast Guard when the men failed to return as expected.

The men’s boat was also recovered.

The incident is under investigation, but officials do not expect foul play, according to CNN affiliate KPRC. The Coast Guard confirmed there was a small craft advisory on the water all day Friday and conditions were choppy.

The Coast Guard, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office launched a land and water search early Saturday morning with the help of a plane and helicopter.

It was not immediately clear what led to the men’s deaths.