The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office Dive Unit has suspended the underwater recovery operation for a drowning victim at Hume Lake.
Recovery efforts will resume Sunday morning at about 6:30 AM. The scene has been turned over to the primary investigating agency, the US Forrest Service.
I spoke to the Sheriff’s dive supervisor and was informed that heavy aquatic vegetation including Hydrilla Weed has hampered the search efforts.
The aquatic vegetation obscures vision and hampers movement under water as it stretches and wraps around appendages and SCUBA gear. This causes the divers to move very slowly and methodically to avoid entanglement and further stirring up the debris and sediment in the water.
The water depth is about 15 feet and the temperature is about 55 degrees.
Yesterday at about 4:00 PM, deputies were dispatched to Hume Lake to assist the US Forrest Service on a reported drowning.
The Forest Service officer on scene reported he had been dispatched to Hume Lake at about 3:38 PM for a reported drowning. When he arrived, bystanders and staff from the nearby Hume Lake Christian Camp were in the water actively searching for the lost swimmer.
Dwindling light and cold water conditions precluded an extended search and the Sheriff’s Dive Unit was requested.
Deputies arrived and spoke with the victim’s family and witnesses at the scene. The victim, a 27 year old male was visiting Hume Lake with his family. A family member reported seeing the victim struggling in the water and calling for help near Sandy Point before he disappeared below the surface.
According to his family, the victim was in good physical condition, knew how to swim and had not been drinking or taking any medicine.
The Sheriff’s Dive Unit Command Post has been set up at Hume Lake to coordinate the recovery efforts.
Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office at (559) 600 – 3111.