Search suspended for apparent drowning victim

Cowlitz County Dive Team searches for body at Beaver Bay

By Susan Parrish, Columbian education reporter


Updated: August 23, 2014, 8:05 PM


Search efforts will resume Sunday after a 22-year-old man was reported missing and presumed drowned in Yale Reservoir Saturday morning.

Witnesses said a man was seen swimming in Yale Reservoir near the entrance to Beaver Bay Campground. He had gone under water about 50 feet from shore and had not resurfaced. The man had been missing for six minutes when emergency responders were called at 11:38 a.m.

Kayakers immediately began looking for the man.

A Clark County Sheriff’s boat was dispatched along with fire units, Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office and Cowlitz County Dive Rescue. Search and rescue operations were suspended late Saturday afternoon. According to the Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office, rescue teams performed two dives but were unable to locate the body.

The man’s identity is known, according to the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office, which did not immediately release his name.

This would be the second drowning in Yale Reservoir this summer. On July 6, Austin H. Wolford, 19, of Vancouver, drowned in the reservoir while swimming with friends. On Aug. 11, a 2-year-old boy drowned in Siouxon Creek, a tributary of Yale Reservoir.

Beaver Bay Campground is on Yale Reservoir, the middle of three reservoirs created from dams on the Lewis River. It is about 34 miles east of Woodland along the Lewis River Highway. PacifiCorp operates Merwin, Yale and Swift dams.