Divers find missing boater’s body in reservoir

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Russell Mendez (Photo: Facebook)

LAKESIDE, Calif. — Lifeguard divers Friday found the body of a 20-year-old man who went missing following a boat collision on El Capitan Reservoir on Thursday evening, a fire department spokesman said.


Russell Mendez (Photo: Facebook)

The deceased man was found under about 35 feet of water, said Lee Swanson, a spokesman for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. Officials identified him as Russell Mendez of San Diego, a graduate of Patrick Henry High School in the San Carlos neighborhood.

The county Medical Examiner’s Office was called in to take custody of the body.

“The team anticipates continuing to dive through the afternoon to search for debris evidence,” Swanson said.

Divers search El Capitan Reservoir

Divers search El Capitan Reservoir for a missing boater

The man was one of two occupants of a drifting boat hit by a speeding boat in the City of San Diego-owned reservoir off El Monte Road in the Cleveland National Forest about 7:20 p.m. Thursday, according to San Diego police Sgt. David E. Jennings. Both vessels capsized.

Mendez’s 21-year-old boating companion was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.

Jennings said the two occupants of the speeding boat suffered numerous minor lacerations and were hospitalized following the crash.

Divers searched for reservoir, which is about 30 miles northeast of downtown San Diego, for the missing man following the crash, but suspended the effort overnight, authorities said.

The multi-agency recovery effort resumed Friday morning, and divers found the Mendez’s body at about 12:30 p.m., San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokesman Lee Swanson said.


  • turdburner

    What a sad situation. Two buddies head out for a fun day of fishing and die. Another boater and his family have to live with killing two innocent young men. Sad day for all.

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