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Recovery crews search Cherry Creek Reservoir for man missing in water

Search for 29-year-old man turns to recovery mission
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Posted at 10:01 AM, May 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-09 08:54:43-04

AURORA, Colo. — Crews from Colorado Parks and Wildlife and South Metro Fire suspended their search Sunday evening on the Cherry Creek Reservoir for a 29-year-old man who went missing in the water Saturday evening.

The unidentified man was on a tube being pulled behind a boat when he became separated from the tube and went under the water but never resurfaced. The search will resume Monday at 7 a.m.

First responders from South Metro Fire Rescue and park rangers began an immediate search using sonar of the area. But they were unable to locate the victim within the first 90 minutes of the search, which has now turned into a recovery mission.

The CPW team used underwater remote-operated vehicles, which use sonar, lights, video cameras and a manipulator in searches. Crews searched the water until 4 a.m. Sunday.

Crews from South Metro Fire and CPW resumed searching the water at sunrise Sunday, but recovery efforts were hampered by strong wind speeds. But they have had some success with the sonar, CPW said.

"All agencies involved at this point are trying to find a little bit better, find that piece of closure for the family. And our condolences really go out to the family members in situations like this," said Jason Clay, spokesperson for CPW.

Recovery efforts forced the closure of the reservoir to boating. However, the rest of the park will remain open.

CPW's Marine Evidence Recovery Team suspended its recovery operations by 8:30 p.m. Sunday. They will resume the search at 7 a.m. Monday.

The CPW said the drowning comes nearly one year to the day of another one in the reservoir. On May 2, 2021, a kayaker drowned near the East Shades parking area after being flipped over in the water.

That drowning was classified as a survivable accident if a personal floatation device had been worn, CPW said.