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Shifting weather hinders search for missing fisherman at Utah Lake

Published April 1, 2013 7:25 am

Weather hinders • Rain, thunderstorms mean 'hide-and-seek with weather' for searchers.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The search for a West Valley City man reported missing at Utah Lake over the Easter weekend ended its third day on Monday with still no sign of the man.

Tam Huynh, 37, described by friends and family as an experienced fisherman, was reported missing Saturday night when other anglers spotted his 18-foot boat stuck in the reeds near the Lindon Boat Harbor.

Utah County sheriff's Sgt. Eldon Packer said the key of the boat's motor was still in the on position and set on half-throttle, leading officials to believe the man was still in the Utah County lake or near the lake.

"At this point, we have moved into recovery rather than rescue mode," Packer said Monday, acknowledging there was a growing conviction that Huynh had drowned.

Monday's search effort included a sheriff's fixed-wing aircraft, three Utah State Parks and Recreation boats, several sheriff's watercraft and numerous volunteer boats.

However, Packer said a series of thunderstorms and rain showers moving through the region periodically interrupted the search efforts.

"We've been playing hide-and-seek with the weather all day," Packer said, noting that it wasn't until early afternoon that the weather cleared long enough to get aircraft patrolling over the lake.

Saturday and Sunday searches along the shoreline and throughout the northern end of the harbor failed to turn up a trace of Huynh. A Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter also assisted in the effort, and search and rescue workers also used sonar to probe beneath the waves.

Family members told police that Huynh headed out on the water about 9 a.m. Saturday. His empty boat was not spotted until about 6:30 p.m. that evening.

Packer said that officials ended the search for Huynh at dark Monday evening and that the search would resume at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

remims@sltrib.com

Twitter: @remims