Search continues for possible drowning victim

LOOMIS – Authorities were still searching for Darrel L. Williams of Oroville who they believe drowned in Palmer Lake Friday, July 11.

The call about a possible drowning at Palmer Lake, near the Chopaka Lodge, came in around 12:45 p.m. on Friday. The sheriff’s office and Okanogan County Search and rescue responded to the scene with a boat, personnel and divers, according to Sheriff Frank Rogers. The U.S. Border Patrol also arrived on the scene and launched a boat, the sheriff added.

“The two subjects were fishing along the shore when Darrel L. Williams, 57, of Oroville, stood up in the back of the boat and then fell overboard,” said Rogers. “When he surfaced his partner asked him if he was okay and threw him a life jacket. Williams told him he was all right but then began to struggle and went under the water and never surfaced. Williams’s partner immediately dove in and tried to locate Williams but was unable to find him,” said Rogers in a release to the press last Monday morning.

Divers dove in the area on Friday but were unsuccessful in locating Williams. Response crews were again on the water on Saturday, with divers but again were unsuccessful in locating Williams.

“On Sunday, July 13 we again searched the area with two boats. One had divers while the other used sonar and a small underwater camera but we still have not been able to locate Williams,” writes Rogers, who adds that Search and Rescue, as well as the Border Patrol would be back on the lake with divers on Monday.

“We have a very good idea where he went in the water, but so far have been unable to find him. Divers are working in water from 35 feet to 70 feet with very poor visibility. We believe that the area Williams went down in is around 60 feet deep,” said the Sheriff.

Divers are working in temperatures at around 40 degrees while personnel in the boats are dealing with 100 to 110 degree temperatures throughout the day. They will continue searching this week to locate Williams.

“Williams is a retired U.S. Border Patrol Agent with his last duty station being at the Oroville Branch of the United States Border Patrol. Williams’s family have been notified of the accident.

This is the third drowning in Okanogan County this year.

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One Response to Search continues for possible drowning victim

  1. Diane McKay Trostle July 30, 2014 at 10:55 pm #

    Words cannot express the way I am feeling right now. I can not believe that no one has found him yet! You would think that someone that has put in so many years with the USBP would be more important to find than to call off the search. Why aren't they still looking for him?? And I DO NOT believe for a minute that whoever was in the boat with him said that Darrel said he was alright! Since drowning was his biggest fear!! Anyone that knew Darrel knew HE COULD NOT SWIM!!! And yes he should have had a life jacket on..but he was stubborn and to much of a macho cowboy to wear one. How are we, his family and friends suppose to have closure when we have no body?? PLEASE, PLEASE I'M BEGGING, DON'T STOP LOOKING FOR Darrel! He was my best friend for the last 17 years!
    (The Former Mrs. Darrel Lee Williams)

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