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Durango man sailing Navajo Lake goes missing

Search operations scaled down a week after boat found unoccupied
A Durango man is missing a week after his sailboat was found unoccupied on the New Mexico side of Navajo Lake.

A 78-year-old Durango man has been missing for almost a week after possibly having gone overboard while sailing at Navajo Lake State Park.

Christopher Smith, the park superintendent on the New Mexico side of the lake, said a sailboat was found unoccupied around 7 p.m. Aug. 7, which was later identified to be owned by John Raymen Porter.

Search and rescue crews were immediately dispatched, Smith said, searching both from the ground and the air, with no success in finding Porter.

Witnesses told authorities that Porter was spotted on his sailboat shortly before 7 p.m., leading authorities to believe he went overboard. He was alone on the sailboat and likely not wearing a life jacket, Smith said.

Search efforts continued throughout the week, with the New Mexico State Police even bringing in its dive team. As of 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Porter was listed as a missing person, Smith said.

“We don’t have his body or him alive to rule anything out at this point,” he said. Foul play is not suspected.

Search operations have been scaled down in recent days, but Smith said crews will actively look for Porter until he is found.

Marsha Porter-Norton posted on social media that the man missing is not her father, whose name is also John Porter.

jromeo@durangoherald.com

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