Body of Missing Sailor Recovered from White Rock Lake

The body of a missing sailor who presumably drowned in White Rock Lake Sunday has been found. 

Conrad Callicoatte, 80, was pulled from the lake at about 3 p.m. Monday afternoon, hours after dive teams returned to the water earlier in the day. 

Officials said police were called at about 3:30 p.m. Sunday after a witness reported seeing a sailboat capsize in strong winds and two people get thrown overboard. 

Officials said Callicoatte was assessing the skills of another sailor when the boat overturned.

Callicoatte Family Photo
Conrad Callicoatte, pictured.

Robert Hunt, the Commodore of the White Rock Boat Club, said Callicoatte was in the water, instructing the other member how to upright the capsized boat, when he stopped talking and went under. 

Another boat rushed to the location and managed to pull one of the people from the water, but the second person, Callicoatte, never resurfaced. 

Hunt described Callicoatte as a very experienced sailor of more than 40 years and had experience sailing boats all over the world. Hunt said he was in charge of keeping the club's boats in order and assessing the skills of members who would use the club's boats.

Callicoatte will be remembered, “as a sailor first and a wonderful person,” said Logan Daffron. “When he talked about sailing, I listened.”

Janie Morris will not only remember a friendly smile and hello.

“He had a cell phone that had a ring with the sound of the waves and the birds and you just knew that he was a committed, dedicated experienced sailor at heart that just longed and loved for that sound,” said Morris.

The 80-year-old was a world traveler

“He had sailed around the world different places: the Caribbean dozens of times, the British Virgin Islands, Croatia,” said Daffron.

A jar of flowers has been placed at the boat club in his honor.

White Rock Boat Club will keep sailing.

“Next time we go out we’ll definitely think of him and raise a sail to him so to speak,” said Morris.

“He’s always forever at the lake and he’ll be remembered well,” said Daffron. “He’s in our heart and in the lake and all around us.”

Hunt said Callicoatte was a physically fit man and suspects some other medical condition caused the sailor to quit treading water and sink. While it's possible Callicoatte drowned, his official cause of death will be determined by the Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office.

"We've avoided saying it was drowning, we just say he passed away on the lake because we don't know for sure," Hunt said. "It's going to be a huge void for the boat club ... Conrad was there every day."

Crews from the Dallas Fire Rescue Dive Team, along with Texas Game Wardens and Dallas Police Department, all searched for Callicoatte until dusk, but had to suspend their search overnight until dawn.

NBC 5's Maria Guerrero contributed to this report.

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