Utah DPS dive team joins in Lake Powell search

Lake Powell | Stock image

LAKE POWELL – With reinforcement from the Utah Department of Public Safety’s dive team, the search continues today for the bodies of two women missing in the water since a boating accident at Lake Powell Thursday morning.

The accident occurred when a northbound motorboat heading for Rainbow Bridge collided with the front corner of a southbound houseboat, causing the motorboat to flip in the area of buoy 43 near Dangling Rope Marina.

Marilyn Jackman, 57, of South Jordan, was killed in the accident; her husband, Adrian Jackman, 59, who was driving the boat and is reported to have been distracted by children in the back of the boat, was injured, as was their 11-year-old granddaughter and one other person, all treated in Arizona hospitals and released; and two women, their daughter Jessica Jackman, 22, and Valerie Rae Bradshaw, 29, of Sandy, went missing in the water. The rest of the 13 people in the motorboat were unharmed and ultimately transported safely to shore.

National Park Service search

The search for the bodies of Jessica Jackman and Valerie Rae Bradshaw has been ongoing by the National Park Service dive team since Thursday with no success thus far. Its submersible robot, which has a camera, lights, mechanical arm and sonar capability, malfunctioned in its sonar capability Friday and the Park Service, while having the robot repaired, is waiting on parts or a loaner robot, expected to arrive Monday.

Utah Department of Public Safety joins in the search

The Utah Department of Public Safety dive team joined in the search this morning bringing its “side scan sonar” technology which scans differently than the National Park Service’s robot (besides the fact that robot’s sonar is malfunctioning).

The state team left the Wahweap Marina at about 9 a.m. today for the accident scene. In a statement released by Kane County Emergency Services at 2:45 p.m. today, Sgt. Alan Alldredge said:

At this time they have been searching a little more than two hours.  The state team uses “Side Scan Sonar” technology.  They will continue searching in the area looking for possible “targets” that could be a body.  Once a target is located, it will provide a GPS coordinate of the target which can then be used for further investigation.

If the state team is able to locate a viable target, the Park service team can still use their current robot with its camera and mechanical arm to investigate the target, and/or retrieve a body.

Ongoing investigation

Utah State Parks will handle the investigation into the crash. The damaged motorboat will be moved to the Wahweep marina area where it will be removed from the water; further investigation will take place the first part of next week.

Searching for the bodies is a very slow process, Alldredge said.

L-R: Valerie Rae Bradshaw, 29; Jessica Jackman, 22; missing since June 20 boating accident on Lake Powell | Photos courtesy of Kane County Emergency Services
L-R: Valerie Rae Bradshaw, 29; Jessica Jackman, 22; missing since June 20 boating accident on Lake Powell | Photos courtesy of Kane County Emergency Services

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Lake Powell | Stock image
Lake Powell | Stock image


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