Search continues for man presumed dead following boating accident at Pine Flat Lake

Local News

FRESNO COUNTY, California. (KGPE) – The search continues for a man who disappeared in Pine Flat Lake early Saturday morning.

On Sunday, deputies from the Fresno County Sheriff’s Boating Enforcement Unit went back out on the water to look for the man.

“The 9-1-1 call was placed on the waterway and we were informed that a subject was in the water. From there, we don’t know the complete details as the investigation is still ongoing on who the individual is and the exact specifics,” explained Deputy Nathan Sweany.

According to witnesses, four adult men were on a boat when one of them jumped in to swim without a life jacket around 1:00 in the morning and was never seen again.

Sweany says the man has been presumed dead, and the search for his body is particularly difficult because the area where he disappeared is around 200 feet deep – too deep for dive teams to search safely.

“It’s just hard. We have our dive unit but as they get really deep inside there, it’s hard to find, conditions of the water, how murky and dark it is…and just the amount of activity on Pine Flat Lake. It’s very busy, we have to juggle the search and rescue efforts alongside regular patrol efforts,” said Sweany.

Sweany wants to remind lake goers that while you’re only required to wear a life jacket on boats when you’re 13 years or younger, it’s still encouraged for adults of all ages.

“A lot of adults don’t want to wear them, but if you’re drinking and you’re on a boat, especially at night, it’s really good to have them…life jackets save your life. That’s why they exist. It’s just smart to have them on, it’s just the best practice,” said Sweany.

Sweany says the Sheriff’s Office will have their regular boat patrol units on the water seven days a week, and they will continue to be on the lookout for the missing man.

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