Craig Strickland’s friends and family are “clinging” to hope that he’s still alive despite harsh weather conditions that toppled the boat he was using to hunt, and the fact his companion was found dead.
Their hopes were boosted, though, when Strickland’s dog Sam was found alive, something friend and Backroad Anthem bandmate Toby Freeman called “a very good sign.”
“That’s a piece of hope that we’re actually clinging on to. Dog being man’s best friend is a saying that’s so common, but it’s actually so true in this case,” he told People magazine.
“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.”
Craig and his friend Chase Morland went duck hunting early Saturday morning despite Winter Storm Goliath.
Rescuers found the boat they were hunting in overturned in Kay Country, Oklahoma and later found Morland’s body on Monday.
Craig’s wife Helen Strickland, former Miss Arkansas USA, has expressed hope that Craig is still alive, asking for prayers on Twitter.
“For everyone wanting to know, Sam is fine,” she said in an update on Tuesday. “He was a brave boy. He wouldn’t leave Chase’s body until the Warden found him.”
Craig’s dad Ricky is also hoping for the best, saying via Facebook: “We are trying to think of a scenario where he is still alive. Hoping against the odds.”