A static-laced cell phone call Tuesday afternoon led to a search for three area men who were floating on the Washita River.

Carter County Undersheriff Milton Anthony said deputies received a report about 12:30 p.m. concerning the welfare of the trio, identified as Cody Goodrick, James Frost and Billy Downing.

"The reporting party said they had received a cell phone call from Goodrick. The reception was bad, but they believed Goodrick sounded panicked and told the reporting party he had to find his stepdad (Downing)," Anthony said.

An immediate search was launched for the men, who had been seen about 5:30 p.m. Monday getting on a large rubber raft on the river near the state Highway 53 bridge. Deputies were told the men planned to "float" to a bridge located on U.S. Highway 177 near Dickson. Anthony said deputies searched the river between the two points.

Shortly before 3 p.m., all three were found well and unharmed.

"They had spent the night on the bank. One of them, who was on the bank, walked up to deputies. The other two were on the raft in the water," Anthony said.

And the phone call?

"Goodrick said he was not panicked, and what he actually said during the phone call was that he was looking for his stepfather's cell phone," Anthony said.