The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office says it has recovered the bodies of two people who went under water at Apache Lake.
Around 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22, in the area of Alder Creek commonly referred to as “Party Cove” along the north shore of Apache Lake in the Tonto National Forest, MCSO said a flash flood caught two boats on the shoreline.
With the hearing of crashing trees, after a storm, a scramble occurred to get onto the watercrafts and escape the area, MCSO said.
One of the watercrafts, which had five people onboard, experienced mechanical issues and would not start. The other boat maneuvered, and the operator tried to jumpstart the inoperable boat. However, the effort was unsuccessful before the flash flood and debris reached the lake, MCSO said.
The five people onboard the inoperable board went into the water as the boat capsized, MCSO said. The other boat operator and his passenger were able to rescue three of the five people that were in the water. The other two were not able to be located. They were identified as Rick Le Grand, 52, and Deanna Peterson, 41.
Search efforts were underway to locate and recover the missing boaters, MCSO said. On Tuesday, Aug. 25, they said the body of Ms. Peterson was recovered.
Divers had been searching for Mr. Le Grand until MCSO reported they had recovered his body Wednesday, Sept. 2.
The search area included part of the cove that is covered by a debris field that is about 200 feet by 350 feet, composed of tree branches and logs that are residual vegetation from the recent Bush Fire that burned the Four Peaks mountain area.
The layer of debris on the surface of the water is about 12 inches thick, MCSO said.
Divers dealt with a large search area that has almost zero visibility.