Search continues for body of Welsh man in Lake Sutherland

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July 16. 2016 6:00PM

PORT ANGELES — Dive teams today will continue searching Lake Sutherland for the body of 61-year-old Wales resident Stephen Thomas Turner of the United Kingdom.

Until Thomas is found, the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office is asking recreational users of Lake Sutherland to limit their activities on the lake’s eastern end while dive teams comb the depths.

A dive team from Mason County is expected to arrive at the lake to aid the search at about 10 a.m. today, said Mike DeRousie, Clallam County Fire District 2 assistant chief.

Underwater Search & Rescue Volunteers of Kitsap County searched the lake three times Saturday but were unable to find Thomas’ body, DeRousie said.

“We met out here at 7 o’clock this morning,” he said.

“They did one dive at around 9:30 a.m. I think four divers went down at that time.”

A team of six divers then entered the waters just before noon, with four more entering the water later in the afternoon, DeRousie said.

Saturday’s search ended at about 3:50 p.m., he said.

“There won’t be anymore diving tonight,” he said.

Search begins

Emergency responders began searching for Turner’s remains midday Friday after rescuers in kayaks were unable to reach him in time to save him, DeRousie said.

Turner was at Lake Sutherland while visiting his girlfriend, who lives in Clallam County, when he went swimming, DeRousie said.

The girlfriend was not publicly identified.

Turner began yelling for help about 150 yards south of the shoreline at Critter Crossing Road on the U.S. Highway 101 side of the lake west of Port Angeles.

DeRousie said a daughter of Turner’s girlfriend and a Clallam Fire District No. 2 paramedic who was already at the lake tried to rescue him.

“They jumped in kayaks and paddled as fast as they could, and he slid under before they got to him,” DeRousie said.

Lake Sutherland is up to about 80 feet deep.

Assisting in the search were members of Fire District 2, the Sheriff’s Office, Lower Elwha Klallam tribal police and the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Clallam County Undersheriff Ron Cameron said the Sheriff’s Office marine unit also launched a lake boat, and a dive team from Kitsap County responded to assist Friday evening.