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National Park Service

Body of man who jumped overboard in Lake Powell still missing 3 weeks later

By Liesl Nielsen, | Posted - Oct 10th, 2018 @ 5:15pm

LAKE POWELL — Rescue teams are still searching for the body of a Colorado man nearly three weeks after he jumped off a boat in Lake Powell and never resurfaced, officials said.

Daniel Patrick McGuckin, 41, of Avon, Colorado, was sailing with eight friends near Iceberg Canyon on Sept. 22 when he jumped off the houseboat without a life jacket and never came back up. McGuckin’s friends tried to find him for about 25 minutes before sending out a distress call, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area officials said.

Several search and rescue teams responded to the call, but they were unable to find McGuckin. After three days, he was presumed dead. They’ve been looking for his body ever since.

“They’ve had a lot of trouble because it’s such a wide area,” said Glen Canyon spokeswoman Maschelle Zia.

Search and rescue teams didn’t have a very clear idea of where McGuckin was last seen, which means they’ve been searching a very large swath for three weeks, she said.

Crews have used what’s called a side-scan sonar — a system that can create images of the lake bottom. If they find McGuckin, crews will send down a robot that can bring his body back up, Zia added.

So far, they’ve had no such luck.

“It’s just a wide area, and the terrain is rough, and the equipment has to be very slowly maneuvered,” Zia said. “It’s a slow process.”

Crews have searched for the body every day since McGuckin went missing, unless weather made a trip on the lake dangerous, she added. Glen Canyon’s search and rescue teams have been “taking turns” with other agencies throughout the process and hope the Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office can take over as they get pulled away to another assignment.

“They will continue to search until they’ve found the body,” Zia said.

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