A 76-year-old man and two girls were found unharmed by Texas County Sheriff James Sigman and other officers after the three were reported missing late Thursday night after going on a float trip down the Big Piney River.

Sigman said a call came in at about 11 p.m. indicating the trio was late for arrival at their planned exit point. They were reportedly going to float from Tony Hogan to Dogs Bluff – about a five-hour trip – and left at about noon.

County officers (including Sigman) and Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers set out to check all the river access points along the route. At about 11:30 p.m., Sigman checked the bridge on Highway Z just off of Highway 17 about two miles west of Houston.

“I shined my light and started yelling and heard some yelling down below,” he said. “We made our way down the river and there was a log across the river and they weren’t able to get around it.

“When you have an incident like that, you never know if they’ve gone beyond the point where they were supposed to get out. But they were on the bank safe and sound, and we got them out of there.”

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