UTAH COUNTY, Utah, May 7, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — By Thursday afternoon, search and rescue crews had spent more than a dozen hours searching Utah Lake and surrounding areas for any signs of two Utah County teens who went missing after going tubing on the lake Wednesday afternoon.
The missing teens have been identified as Priscilla Bienkowski, 18, of Saratoga Springs, and Sophia Hernandez, 17, of Eagle Mountain.
A helicopter, mountain posse and boaters were among those engaged in the search. As of 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Bienkowski and Hernandez remained unaccounted for.
The two were on the northwest side of the lake when they were believed to have been caught up in high winds and heavy waves that blew through the area late Wednesday afternoon.
Officers who were near the lake at the time described the conditions as “fierce.”
Utah County Sheriff’s Deputy Tyler Hutchins told Gephardt Daily search and rescue operations began about 8 p.m. after family members reported the teens missing to Saratoga Springs police.
Rescue teams in boats and in the air searched for the girls throughout much of the night.
A floating device thought to belong to one of the teens was found in the lake, but there were no other signs of the missing girls.
Operations were suspended about 2 a.m. and began again at first light.
Gephardt Daily will update the story as more information becomes available.