Retired Unified PD officer drowns in Flaming Gorge Reservoir

Mikal Wersland (right) during a March 2015 interview with Gephardt Daily.. Photo: Gephardt Daily staff

DAGGETT COUNTY, Utah, Sept. 3, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — Officials have identified a retired Unified Police Department officer who drowned in Flaming Gorge Reservoir Sunday afternoon.

The deceased is Mikal Wersland, who was known as Mik, according to a news release from Unified Police Department spokeswoman Sgt. Melody Gray.

A news release from Daggett County Sheriff E.L. Bailey, says personnel were dispatched at approximately 2:10 p.m. to the Cedar Springs Marina on a report of a man who had been swimming in Flaming Gorge Reservoir.

“The male was found unresponsive and later pronounced deceased,” the news release said.

The news release from Gray said: Despite the best efforts of those on scene, including a member of Unified Police Department, Mik was not able to survive. Our deepest condolences and prayers are with his family and friends.

“Mik served a distinguished career with the Unified Police Department and prior service with the South Salt Lake Police Department. Mik was a member of the UPD SWAT team for many years where he was known as one of the best. He will be greatly missed.”

Officials did not immediately release further details of the incident.

Back in March 2015, Wersland was featured in a Gephardt Daily story after he helped surprise an 84-year-old Navy veteran whose wheelchair was stolen from outside a Savers store.

Wersland, who was a UPD Officer at the time, told the veteran, Roy Feragen, that investigators had served a search warrant looking for his stolen wheelchair and that he was needed to identify evidence. Instead, Wersland brought the retired veteran into Taylorsville City Hall, where he was given a brand-new motorized wheelchair.

The presentation of the new wheelchair brought both Feragen and Wersland, who had driven the veteran home after the robbery, to tears.

“I won’t forget it,” Wersland said at the time, when asked about what it was like seeing Feragen’s reaction to getting the new chair. “I’ve been doing this 20 years and I’ve never experienced anything like this.”


  1. A good man. He will be missed by so many. I have never known anyone like Mike. Biggest heart, hardest shell. He has been so good to our family over the years.


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