Search and Rescue experts locate body of man who died after jumping into Lake Powell last year

Lake Powell. Photo Courtesy: National Park Service

KANE COUNTY, Utah, June 27, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Search and Rescue experts have located the body of a man who jumped off a houseboat into Lake Powell and did not resurface last September.

The man, who was not wearing a life jacket, was 41-year-old Daniel Patrick McGuckin, from Avon, Colo., according to information released by the Kane County Sheriff’s Office and officials from the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area at the time.

The incident happened at buoy marker 78 North on Lake Powell, which is about 15 miles south of Bullfrog, by Iceberg Canyon, on Sept. 22. McGuckin’s party reported that a group of nine friends was on a houseboat traveling to Bullfrog from the Escalante arm of Lake Powell and McGuckin seemed to decide to jump off the port side of the houseboat.

The National Park Service responded with four vessels from Halls Crossing, Bullfrog and Dangling Rope. Kane County officials and Utah State Parks also responded and assisted at the scene. A multi-day coordinated search took place, with the NPS Remote Operated Vessel dive boat responding along with the Utah State Highway Patrol’s Dive Team, but the missing party was not located.

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A follow up news release from Kane County Sheriff said that Wednesday, a search crew located the body of McGuckin in Lake Powell.

“After being contacted by McGuckin’s family and in coordination with the Kane County Sheriff’s Office, Gene and Sandy Ralston from Idaho were able to locate McGuckin in record time,” the follow-up news release said. “The Ralstons are experts in underwater search and rescue. Their boat, named the Kathy G after a drowning victim they located in Alaska, is equipped with side-scan sonar and an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV).”

The Ralstons are credited with numerous recoveries in their career, the news release said.

“Using GPS data from the houseboat McGuckin was riding on when he disappeared, the Ralstons were able to locate his body in a matter of minutes,” the news release said. “He was located north of buoy 79 at a depth of 322 feet.”

McGuckin’s body was brought to the surface using the Ralston’s ROV and recovered by the Kane County Sheriff’s Office with the assistance of the Utah DPS dive team.

His body was transported to the Utah State Medical Examiner’s Office for further investigation.

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