AURORA, Colo. — A search continues Monday at Cherry Creek Reservoir for a tuber who disappeared under the water on Saturday evening.
"It's very, very difficult. You're looking for a needle in a haystack, basically," said Jason Clay, public information officer for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. "The bottom of the reservoir is very sandy, which is helpful, but the marine environment is constantly changing."
On Saturday, a 29-year-old man disappeared in Cherry Creek Reservoir after he fell off a tube pulled behind a boat around 6:45 p.m. He was not wearing a life jacket and did not resurface afterward, officials with CPW said. He went under the water about 300 yards east of the marina on the reservoir's west shore.
CPW park rangers and South Metro Fire responded to the state park to start searching for the man. After 90 minutes, the rescue efforts turned into a recovery. At this point, CPW's Marine Evidence Recovery Team was called in, and five members in two vessels showed up around 8:45 p.m.
The MERT used underwater remote-operated vehicles, which has sonar, light, and video capabilities to search the water. The crews worked until 4 a.m. Sunday.
At sunrise Sunday, South Metro Fire returned to the lake, followed by CPW resources a couple hours later.
The lake was closed to boaters throughout the day Sunday, but the rest of the park was open to the public.
By 8:30 p.m., the recovery was suspended.
It restarted at 7 a.m. Monday. The reservoir remains closed.
Clay said a drone helped search shorelines early Monday. South Metro Fire and CPW officials discussed strategies for the day and reexamine efforts that worked in the past.
"Initially, you start in the focus area from the interviews and then you expand outwards," he said. "Having the resources that we have, the number of boats out on the water, and again going over those focus points, changing the routes up, potentially."
He said the MERT will move in a north-south pattern.
Clay said South Metro's dive team is helping Monday.
"We've had other searches that have gone five, six, multiple days," he said. "So each one is its own case. Both agencies that are out here searching are working really hard to find the missing person in the water. The big goal here is to get that little piece of closure for the family."
This marks the second drowning of the year in Colorado. The first happened on Jan. 26 at Chipeta Lake near Montrose.
Over the weekend, officials also rescued individuals at Chatfield Reservoir and Horsetooth Reservoir.