Drowning victim’s body recovered at Lake Powell

SOUTHERN UTAH – The body of a 22-year-old male was recovered Thursday morning at Lake Powell, near the boat docks in Bullfrog Marina.

Alec McQueen, of Salt Lake City, was boating with two female friends Tuesday when he disappeared beneath the water near the dock area, according to information from Kane County Emergency Services.

McQueen and his two friends, all seasonal employees for hospitality management company ARAMARK, had been recreating on the lake and were pulling into an open slip at the dock to park their boat around 7 p.m. Tuesday. The driver turned off the boat, according to a press release, and McQueen, who had been sitting on the back of the boat, jumped into the water.

“The driver could see Alec in the water a few feet behind the boat. She looked away and when she turned back a couple of seconds later she could not see Alec,” the press release said.

McQueen’s friends called 911 and a ranger with the National Park Service responded soon after, followed by other personnel from NPS and Utah State Parks.

The NPS dive team and Kane County Sheriff’s Office were notified, but because of the lateness of the hour a search was postponed until the following morning.

The NPS Lake Powell dive team was transported by plane from Wahweap Marina to Bullfrog Wednesday morning to make an assessment. The team’s dive boat was brought in early Wednesday afternoon and the dive team attempted to use an underwater robot and sonar to locate McQueen’s body. The sonar malfunctioned, however, and could not be fixed onsite, so three divers were put in the water. The divers attempted to search the initial target area in zero visibility conditions at a depth of about 90 feet. Working by feel only, they made several unsuccessful passes over the area before resurfacing.

A request was put in to the Summit County Sheriff’s Office to use its dive team, robot and sonar, which arrived around 4 a.m. Thursday. Following a 6 a.m. briefing, the Summit County team launched its boat and located McQueen’s body around 7:30 a.m. His body was at a depth of 113 feet in the primary search area. The NPS divers were able to retrieve the body and bring it to the surface, at which time Kane County Sheriff Lamont Smith took possession of the body and transported it to the Utah Medical Examiner’s Office in Salt Lake City.

McQueen’s parents and siblings were at the scene when the body was recovered and were able to see it before it was transported, according to a press release.

The case remains under joint investigation by the various responding agencies.

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