Lake Powell drowning victim located 9 months after jumping from houseboat

Lake Powell, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The body of a man who jumped from a houseboat on Lake Powell nearly nine months ago was located thanks to the efforts of an underwater recovery team assisted by state and local authorities.

On Wednesday, the body of Daniel McGuckin was located by a search crew after investigators say the man made the jump Sept. 22 near buoy marker 78. Despite a coordinated search operation that continued for days, rescuers were unable to locate the body, Kane County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Alan Alldredge said in a statement released Thursday.

The family of McGuckin contacted Gene and Sandy Ralston, a couple out of Idaho who are underwater search and rescue experts, who were “able to locate McGuckin’s body in record time,” Alldredge said in the statement.

Ralston’s boat is equipped with side-scanning sonar and an underwater remotely-operated vehicle. Using the GPS coordinates of McGuckin’s houseboat on the day he went missing, the couple located the remains more than 300 feet below the water’s surface just north of buoy 79.

The remains were brought to the surface using the remotely-operated vehicle and then recovered by the Kane County Sheriff’s Office with the assistance of the Utah Department of Public Safety dive team, Alldredge said.

Alldredge added that the boat used in Wednesday’s recovery operation, the “Kathy G” is named after a drowning victim they located in Alaska.

The couple has been credited with numerous recoveries throughout their career which has brought “much needed closure to families across North America,” Alldredge said in the statement.

McGuckin’s remains were later transported to the Utah State Medical Examiners Office for further investigation.

This report is based on statements from police or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.


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