High tech side-scan sonar helps find drowning victims
Tip Top Search and Rescue assists in underwater searches
by Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office
July 23, 2008
Diving resources and advanced underwater technology and equipment from Wyoming was used in the recent search for a drowning victim in southeast Montana, Sweetwater County Sheriff Rich Haskell of Rock Springs said today (July 22, 2008).
The body of Michael Steel, 43, of Sheridan, Wyoming was recovered from the Tongue River Reservoir in Big Horn County, Montana, near noon on Monday (July 21, 2008). The reservoir is about 25 miles north of Sheridan.
Big Horn County officials said that Steel drowned about 6:30 PM on July 16th in a severe storm that struck the reservoir.
Haskell said that state-of-the-art side-scan sonar and related underwater technology and equipment that is available through a special cooperative interagency agreement among counties in southwest Wyoming, including Sweetwater and Sublette Counties, was used in the search.
John Linn and Andy McGinnis of the Sublette County Tip Top Dive Rescue and Recovery Team, based in Pinedale, Wyoming, participated in the search, which involved both local Montana divers and divers from the Sheridan area.
Linn characterized and praised the Montana search as a "huge community effort," with many volunteers working at the scene.
The same sonar technology and dive resources, as well as team divers from Sweetwater and Sublette Counties, were employed in the June 11th recovery of a drowning victim from Glendo Reservoir in Platte County, Wyoming, and the 2007 recovery from Flaming Gorge of the bodies of three Sweetwater County men who disappeared during a fishing outing in 1996.
For more information contact Detective Dick Blust, Jr., Public Information Officer, (307) 922-5294, 307-350-4016, firstname.lastname@example.org