So far, the only survivor recovered from Craig Strickland’s hunting accident is his dog, Sam. However, his friends and family believe this is a good sign and are holding out hope that Craig is alive, too.
Craig Strickland, 29, has been missing since early Monday morning, Dec. 28, after his duck hunting boat capsized during a nasty storm in Oklahoma. Since then his beloved black lab, Sam, and his friend, Chase Morland, 22, have been found, but only the dog survived the tragic accident.
“For everyone wanting to know, Sam is fine. He was a brave boy,” wrote Craig’s wife, Helen Wisner, on Twitter on Tuesday, Dec. 29. Sadly she added, “He wouldn’t leave Chase’s body until the Warden found him.” Unfortunately, there was no sign of Craig with the dog or Chase’s body.
Still, Craig’s family is hopeful that if his older dog could survive the capsized boat and extreme weather conditions that the 29-year-old could, too. “Craig’s dog being found alive is a very good sign,” Craig’s bandmate, Toby Freeman, told PEOPLE in an interview. “Sam’s an older lab and for him to make it in such harsh conditions — it’s just so amazing and we’re clinging on to that.”
The search for Craig continued on Tuesday, Dec. 29, but no updates were available at the time this article was published. Unfortunately the search was called off relatively early the night before due to the weather conditions.
“They have limited cell service in that area so we are waiting for updates,” LT Kera Philippi of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol told HollywoodLife.com in an email on Dec. 29. We were also informed that the search efforts were being conducted on the “northeast side of Kaw Lake in an area called Bear Creek Cove.”
Our thoughts remain with Craig and Chase’s families and friends during this difficult time.