Grand County assists in Green Mountain drowning incident
The Grand County Sheriff’s Office used a boat donated to the department in July in the wake of a Lake Granby drowning to help locate the body of an apparent 15-year-old drowning victim in Green Mountain Reservoir on Saturday, Aug. 22.
Grand County EMS was dispatched to assist Summit County on the possible drowning shortly after 2 p.m. Saturday, according to a statement released by the Grand County Sheriff’s Office. The Summit County Sheriff’s Office and Lake Dillon Fire Rescue also requested that any agency with a boat respond to assist.
East Grand Fire Department responded with its boat and the Grand County Sheriff’s Office also responded with its recently donated patrol boat. The Sheriff’s Office boat is not fully equipped and functional yet, and there are mechanical issues with the engine.
However, the decision was made to send the boat with Sgt. Nathan Macchione, Cpl. Brent Manley, and Lt. Dan Mayer. All three officers are familiar with the boat and have been trained in boat enforcement and rescue.
The 15-year-old male drowning victim was reportedly at the lake with family and friends and swam from the shore to chase a ball. The East Grand Fire and Sheriff’s Office boats were immediately deployed, as the only boats on the scene, and began marking and securing the area of the drowning. The Summit County Dive Rescue Team responded and began searching the secured area near the shoreline.
The Dive Team located the victim in approximately 10 feet of water. The Grand County Sheriff’s boat was used to assist in the recovery of the victim approximately 3.5 hours after the initial report.
The Grand County Sheriff’s Office boat was donated to the Sheriff’s Office as a result of the drowning of Christopher Mullinex on July 3 in Lake Granby. The use of this boat, coupled with other factors, helped bring this incident to closure quickly, according to the statement.
The Summit County Dive Rescue Team and Summit County Sheriff’s Office assisted in locating and recovering Mullinex on July 6. The Summit County Dive Rescue Team is a volunteer organization that operates on a tight budget, and the Grand County Sheriff’s Office was pleased to be able to respond and assist the agencies that came to assist them in the past, the statement said.
The Sheriff’s Office had hoped to have the donated boat functional in August, but the engine issues have delayed full use. The boat was a generous donation and is in great condition; however, the engine is 24 years old and has some problems. The department also hasn’t established any official funding for maintenance and operational costs for the boat program at this time.
The Green Mountain drowning investigation is being conducted by the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.
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Approaching a year after the East Troublesome Fire destroyed 366 homes, including 132 belonging to fulltime Grand County residents, there are still a few families that haven’t been able to find stable housing.