KOMO News - Seattle, Washington
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Body of missing boater found, ID'd as local bank manager
by Matt Markovich and KOMO News Web Staff
Originally printed at http://www.komonews.com/news/50586147.html
LAKE STEVENS, Wash. - Divers have found the body of a 48-year-old woman who went missing after the boat she was driving suddenly sank in Lake Stevens late Saturday.
Friends and neighbors of the woman identified her as Cindy Tate, a longtime resident of the area who was manager of the local branch of Wells-Fargo Bank. She was a graduate of Lake Stevens High School.
Tate's body was found Sunday afternoon in about 50 feet of water at the south end of the Snohomish County lake, along with 20-foot ski boat she was piloting, said Lt. Steve Dittoe of the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office.
Officials said the boat sank Saturday evening between 9 and 9:30 p.m. with the driver and nine passengers aboard. None of them were wearing lifejackets, according to initial reports.
Neighbors said they heard screams coming from the lake and they knew there had been a bad accident of some kind.
Just before the accident, residents said, the ski boat was with another red boat out on the water, and it appeared that the two boats were involved in some kind of recreational activity together. Loud music could be heard coming from the red boat before the sinking.
Johnny Warrick, who lives on the lake and has a boat, said he heard the screams about 200 yards out on the lake as darkness was falling.
He and another neighbor jumped in Warrick's boat and headed out to the scene, where the nine passengers were in the water. He said they were pulled up by the occupants of the red boat and taken to shore.
He said the passengers all appeared to be in their 20s, and "everybody was in shock."
"They were pretty distraught. Everyone was screaming and crying so we really didn't talk to anybody," he said.
Officials said the passengers tried to save the driver of the boat but were unsuccessful.
Emergency divers mounted a rescue operation immediately after the accident Saturday night, but it was discontinued after three hours passed with no sign of the missing woman or boat, said Lt. Rodney Rochon of the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office.
The search was resumed Sunday at daybreak, and the woman's body was found in the lake at about 2:45 p.m. with the aid of high-tech sonar gear provided by the Seattle Police Department.
The woman's body was found with the boat, described as a 20-foot ski boat with a wakeboard tower, on the bottom of the lake.
The body was recovered from the lake about two hours later and turned over to the Snohomish County Medical Examiner's Office.
The identities of the passengers have not been released, and officials still have not determined the cause of the accident.
"No speculation or assumptions will be made reference the use of alcohol/drugs, speed or possible overloading," the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office said in a prepared statement.