Body found in Lake Almanor is likely missing swimmer

Authorities move a body that was found floating in Lake Almanor Wednesday afternoon.
Photo by Samantha Hawthorne
Dan McDonald                

  Authorities have recovered the body of a man believed to have drowned in Lake Almanor last month.

  Plumas County Assistant Sheriff Gerry Hendrick said “we are 99 percent certain” that a body found floating in the lake Wednesday afternoon is that of Logan Merriweather.

  Merriweather, 25, of Carson City, has been missing since Sept. 15, when he was last seen swimming in the lake.

  Hendrick said the sheriff’s office can’t confirm that the body is Merriweather’s until tests are concluded. He said depending on the condition of the body dental records would likely be used for confirmation.

  Sheriff’s dispatchers received a 911 call at 12:51 p.m. Wednesday from a boater who spotted a body floating in the water.

  Susanville Interagency Fire Center was called and responded with a boat to pick up the body.

  Merriweather was reportedly swimming from a boat with family members when he failed to return to the watercraft around 6:30 p.m. Sept. 15, 2012

  Authorities said the people on the boat didn’t realize Merriweather hadn’t returned until after a few minutes had passed.

  “There were four people on the boat,” Search and Rescue Coordinator Mike Grant said last month. “Two of them were out swimming. One of them swam back to the boat and got out of the water. And then they realized the other person didn’t get out.”

  The sheriff’s dispatch received a 911 call at 6:41 p.m.

  Grant said the first rescue boat from Hamilton Branch/Peninsula fire arrived on the scene about 21 minutes later.

  “In that 21 minutes, the boat drifted about 1,600 feet,” Grant said. “The water in the area (Big Cove) is about 60 feet deep. There were a lot of unknowns. It was very difficult.”

  Other agencies joined the search that went on until nearly midnight. Grant said search and rescue dogs and thermal imaging devices were used to try to locate Merriweather.

  Grant said the search resumed the next morning at 6. By the time the recovery effort was scaled back three days later (Tuesday, Sept. 18), he said many resources, including high-tech sonar imaging devices, had been deployed.

  Grant said five divers, a California Highway Patrol helicopter and boats from Lake Almanor West and Lassen and Yolo counties took part in the search.

  “It was a big operation,” Grant said. “Those guys worked very hard.”

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