Remote operated vehicle assisted in underwater recovery of two bodies on Grand Mesa frozen lake
The Summit County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the recovery of two bodies inside Island Lake in Delta County after a Sno-Cat carrying two individuals fell through the ice this weekend.
On Sunday, the Delta County Sheriff’s Office was informed of two missing individuals, later identified as Ryan Wells and Richard Colton of Delta County, who fell through the ice while riding a Sno-Cat on Island Lake, as reported by the The Daily Sentinel.
On Monday, Delta County Sheriff Mark Taylor requested assistance from the Summit County Sheriff’s Office to help locate both the Sno-Cat and the bodies of the individuals. Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons said that Special Operations Sergeant Mark Watson and Technician Brian Metzger were deployed to the scene along with a remote operated underwater vehicle (ROV). The team cut through about three feet of ice, and recovered the two individuals and the Sno-Cat from about 65 feet of water in a little under an hour.
“I’m very proud that we’re able to offer this capability to agencies around the state,” said FitzSimons. “The best part is that you’re able to bring closure to these families quickly.”
Of note, FitzSimons said that during the mission a rescue worker from Delta County fell into the freezing water, but was quickly loaded into the sheriff’s office’s new enclosed utility task vehicle to prevent hypothermia.
FitzSimons said that the locate and recovery mission was the sixth deployment of the ROV since the sheriff’s office added it to it’s toolbox this summer. This was the ROV’s first winter deployment, and so far, every deployment has been successful.