Divers Search for Missing Swimmer

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - 2:02pm

The Madison Fire Department Lake Rescue Team was called to Lake Mendota this afternoon to search for a missing swimmer. The call for assistance was received at 3:19 p.m. and rescue divers were in the water within minutes of launching the rescue boat.

Three people were swimming in the water near the Porter Boathouse on Babcock Drive when they discovered one person was missing. The swimmers summoned help from bystanders on shore who joined them in the water to search for the missing man.

The fire department rescue divers conducted several underwater searches of the area where the man was last seen. A boat and personnel from the Dane County Sheriff's Office assisted in the search with a side scanning sonar unit. The search was very difficult due to lots of weeds in the water and poor underwater visibility.

The Madison Fire Department Lake Rescue Team was released from the scene at 5:15 p.m. The Dane County Sheriff's Office will continue the search tonight, weather permitting. Additional updates can be obtained from the Dane County Sheriff's Officer in Charge (OIC).

The Madison Fire Department Lake Rescue Team has 51 trained scuba divers, certified by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors. On-duty divers respond year-round to surface, underwater, and ice rescues and recoveries, vehicle recoveries, and assistance calls from the City of Madison Police Department and Dane County Sheriff's Office.

  • Eric Dahl, 608-261-9845