Lake County 911 received a call from a distressed boater at 4:20 p.m., Friday, July 19, stating their boat was sinking on Flathead Lake.
After contact with the caller was lost, GPS technology was used to assist 911 to find them at 2.2 miles east of Bear Dance, near mile post 23 of Highway 35.
Lake County Search and Rescue deployed two boats from Polson. Deputies, SAR members, and a Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks warden observed from the shore to try to spot the craft. While this search was underway, a report of two overdue boaters was taken by 911.
Shore personnel eventually spotted the tip of the bow of the boat more than two miles from the east shore. At 5:35 p.m., the two occupants of the boat were located and rescued. At the time of their rescue they were wearing life jackets.
The submerged boat was pulled into Woods Bay where it was recovered via a barge at the direction of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the Lake County Office of Emergency Management.
Montana FWP is still investigating the cause of the boat sinking. Preliminary information indicated the boat sank very quickly and that life jackets were not worn.
The Sheriff’s Office advises boaters to wear a life jacket at all times.