Local News

Jul 12, 2014 8:24 PM by Charlie Misra, KSBY News

SB County Sheriff's dive team searching Cachuma Lake for missing man

Boating at Cachuma Lake was closed Saturday as the Santa Barbara County Sheriff Dive Team's searched for a 22-year-old man who was last seen going underwater just before 8 Friday night.

Sheriff's officials said a camper called 9-1-1 to report three men who needed help, after their boat had engine problems on Friday.

County park rangers at Cachuma Lake responded on their patrol boat to the north end of the Dakota plains camping area, where they said they found a man who was struggling to stay afloat.

"They got out on the water and rescued the first subject that was in the water," said Operations Manager Michael Allen with North Santa Barbara County Parks. "He told them that there was another subject still missing. And they continued the search."

With the help of Santa Barbara County Fire and the sheriff's office, park rangers continued to look for the man who went missing, in the water and on land, until about 10 Friday night. They called off the seach when it became too dark to see.

"The circumstances are still being investigated. It's unclear why the subject went into the water," said Allen.

Saturday, county park rangers operated their patrol boat for the sheriff's dive team. Sheriff's officials said the area where the victim was last seen and where the other man was rescued is about 80 feet deep.

According to initial reports, the victim wasn't wearing a life vest. "Life jackets are very important," said Allen. "If anyone ever needs to get into the water for any reason, it's always a good idea to make sure you have a life jacket on, and that it's tight."

Park rangers also rescued a third man, Friday night, who was still on the boat.

Sheriff's officials said they are still investigating how the two men ended up in the water, but it appears the victim may have been trying to swim to shore.

The identities of the three men have not been released.

The sheriff's dive team may resume its search if conditions improve.



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