Searchers recover body from Canyon Ferry Reservoir

Posted at 7:30 PM, Jun 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-18 21:36:05-04

UPDATE, 7:00 p.m.: The Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Tuesday afternoon that search crews had recovered the body of a missing diver from Canyon Ferry Lake.

Crews had been searching much of the day Tuesday in the area north of Cemetery Island. LCSO Capt. Kevin Wright said, around 2:30 p.m., they confirmed the location of the man’s body.

The search had started Monday afternoon. Authorities say the diver had been in the water when he suffered an equipment problem. Another man went into the water to help him.

The second diver was eventually brought to shore and taken to the hospital, but crews were not able to locate the first diver on Monday.

On Tuesday, the LCSO Water Emergency Team and Lewis and Clark Search and Rescue were back on the water. They also got assistance from authorities in Flathead County, who brought in a dive team and advanced sonar equipment.

“They were able to coordinate it down to a smaller search area and found his body in the water, where dive teams were able to go down and bring him up,” Wright said.

Tri-Lakes Volunteer Fire Department, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, True North Search Dogs and iFlyBigSky also assisted with the search.

“Thanks to all the volunteers and the hard work of everybody involved, to bring closure for the family,” said Wright.

Wright said the man was from Massachusetts, but the sheriff’s office is not yet ready to release his identity. The case will now be further investigated by the county Coroner’s Division.

UPDATE 4:07 P.M: Search and Rescue crews recovered the body of a missing diver from Canyon Ferry Reservoir Tuesday afternoon.

A coroner arrived at Yacht Basin Marine just after 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. Search teams began coming off the water just after 3:00 p.m.

The identity of the diver has not been released.

This is a developing story, we will update you when more information is available.

HELENA- The Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office says the search for a diver missing in Canyon Ferry Reservoir is now a recovery effort.

Search teams returned to the Yacht Basin Marina on Tuesday morning to resume the search for an out of state diver who went missing after having equipment trouble Monday afternoon.

Crews are searching the area the diver was last seen, around Cemetery Island, in the northwest section of the lake.

The water in the area is between 30 and 50 feet deep.

Sheriff’s Office Captain Kevin Wright told MTN, “We have a pretty good idea of an area where we’re looking. just north of cemetery island. Right now, just do the visibility under the water makes it very difficult for the divers.”

Search and Rescue crews had to temporarily suspend search efforts Monday evening because of weather but were able to return and search until the light began to fade.

The lower part of the marina has been closed to allow emergency workers to operate. Searchers will remain on the lake until the diver is found or until dark Tuesday evening.