Sheriff releases names of brothers who vanished while fishing on Strawberry Reservoir

Search and Rescue teams search for missing brothers at Strawberry Reservoir, Thursday afternoon, July 18, 2019. Photo Courtesy: Wasatch County Sheriff's Office

WASATCH COUNTY, Utah, July 19, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Officials have identified the two brothers who were fishing and have been missing since Thursday afternoon, when their boat was found, idling but with no one aboard, at Strawberry Reservoir.

The men are James “Jim” Gardiner, 70, of Salem, Utah, and Mark Gardiner, 61, of Pleasant Grove, Wasatch County Sheriff Jared Rigby said in a Friday evening news conference.

Rigby said the families of the men have been working with authorities and search teams and have contributed important information regarding where the brothers generally fish and the route they take.

He said the families have been “amazing.”

Rigby said of the search and rescue operation late Friday, “We have exhausted our resources. We’ve had people going since 2 p.m. yesterday. We switch them out about every six or eight hours.

“It’s likely they will work as long as they can tonight, until 11 p.m. or midnight. Then they’ll go home and get some rest and be back in the morning.”

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Rigby said the search and rescue teams had split up, with some using side scan or regular sonar, while others have ROVs or “Rovers” (Remotely Operated Vessels). He said they are working together, with the sonar operators looking for images of objects under the water and the Rovers then verifying what the object is.

Earlier on Friday, search crews using sonar said they believed they had detected something in the water, but Rigby declined to elaborate as to what he thought it might have been.

Strawberry Reservoir is open, Rigby said, “but we’ve asked folks to stay out of the northeast area where we are concentrating our search.”

Gephardt Daily will provide updates on this story as more information becomes known.

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