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Boat captain dies after falling overboard during storm on Dillon Reservoir

Dillon Reservoir boating death_June 14 2020
Posted at 10:34 AM, Jun 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-15 12:35:55-04

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. — A 68-year-old man died after he fell overboard during a storm on the Dillon Reservoir Saturday afternoon following a boat race.

Around 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, a storm cell blew over the Dillon Reservoir area, bringing strong winds — some gusts beyond 40 mph — and four-foot waves. The wind and waves caused multiple boats to capsize, according to the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.

At this time, the Dillon Yacht Club’s Peak One Regatta race had just wrapped up and the competing boats were moving back toward the Dillon Marina. One of the boats, a 21-foot Star Class 2 racing sailboat, was traveling downwind toward the marina and performed a jibe in order to change course. The boat lost control and broached, causing the captain to fall overboard, the sheriff’s office said.

The boat collided with a race committee boat that was moored to a buoy. Other boats that were in the area immediately started searching for the captain. He had not been wearing a life jacket, the sheriff’s office said.

The sheriff’s office, along with the Summit County Rescue Group, started a land and water search around the reservoir. The Summit County Water Rescue Team, Dillon Police Department, Dillon and Frisco Marinas, Dillon Yacht Club boats, fishing guides, Summit Water Taxi and Flight for Life also helped in the search. Officials used water search dogs, underwater sonar and a VideoRay underwater remote-operated vehicle as they attempted to find the captain, according to the sheriff’s office.

The search continued through Saturday but was suspended at 11 p.m. due to the storms.

It resumed Sunday at 6:30 a.m

Crews used two water search dogs, underwater sonars and the underwater remote-operated vehicle.

At 3:30 p.m. Sunday, the underwater vehicle located the captain under 180 feet of water, according to the sheriff’s office.

He was only identified as a 68-year-old male.

The body was recovered around 5 p.m.

The sheriff’s office said the incident remains under investigation.