Search Resumes for Three Men Whose Boat Capsized in June Lake

Wendilyn Grasseschi

The search for three people whose boat capsized on June Lake on Saturday, Oct. 15 resumed this morning, Oct. 18, under fair skies and little to no wind.

The search has been underway since the three disappeared the morning of Oct. 15 after their boat capsized during a windy, stormy morning. The names of the three, including a 14-year-old boy, have not been released by officials, but all three are believed to be from Tehachapi and to be members of the same family.

According to Mono County officials, the search is in recovery mode, meaning all three of the missing people are believed to be dead.

“This is officially a recovery effort, as there is no possibility of survival," the sheriff's office wrote on Sunday on its Facebook page, the only official source of information about the accident. "This is an incredibly tragic and devastating time for the families, so please continue to keep them in your hearts and prayers."

This is the fourth day of the search, which was hampered by strong wind and rain for the two days after the accident and has also been made difficult by the fact that June Lake is very deep and has a silty bottom, which makes it hard to see and find the victims.

"It is not that big of a lake but it is very deep and it has a silty bottom," said Mono County Sheriff Ingrid Braun today. "We are doing our best to bring them home to their families as fast as possible."

A violent, windy rainy "atmospheric river" storm inundated the Eastern Sierra front most of Saturday and all of Sunday, making searching for the men, whose boat capsized on Saturday, difficult due to the high winds and waves. The search was suspended at about 4:30 p.m. Sunday when conditions on the lake deteriorated to the point searching was no longer safe enough to continue, according to the sheriff's office. The San Bernardino County Sheriff Dive Team, the Mono County emergency personnel and others are involved in the search.

The three men are believed to have drowned, after their boat capsized Saturday morning, Oct. 15 at approximately 10 a.m. The boat was carrying five male passengers. Two men were able to swim to shore, but the remaining three have not been found.

The two men who swam to shore were medically treated and released.

The boaters were at June Lake on vacation.

The men’s families arrived in the area Saturday, according to the sheriff's office.

Facebook posts by the families and/or friends of the men on the sheriff's Facebook page indicate that the victims were all, or at least mostly, from Tehachapi, although the sheriff's office has not confirmed that, nor have the names of the missing men or of the two men who survived the incident been released as of Tuesday, Oct. 18.