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Crews search for missing man in Willard Bay

Published August 23, 2013 10:02 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

State park rangers and search and rescue crews in Box Elder County searched until dark Friday for a man who disappeared while riding a personal watercraft at Willard Bay and is now feared drowned.

Officials with Willard Bay State Park identified the missing man as Brigham Bradley, a 32-year-old corrections officer for the Weber County Sheriff's Office. Eugene Swalberg, a spokesman for Utah State Parks, said officials were unable to find any sign of Bradley on the water or on the shore. The operation's goals have now shifted to that of recovery instead of rescue, Swalberg said.

Bradley was off duty when he was riding with his friends Friday afternoon. At about 2 p.m., the watercraft he was on broke down, and he stayed on top of it while his friends went to get towing equipment, according to park officials.

When his friends returned, they found the craft but saw no sign of Bradley. He was not wearing a life jacket at the time.

Lt. Eric Stucki of Utah State Parks said the search would continue until officials could find definitive evidence of Bradley's fate.

Stucki said park rangers got help from Box Elder County, Weber County and the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

The search was halted about 9 p.m. The operation will resume at 7 a.m. Saturday.

Recreational boating in the bay's south marina will be closed Saturday as the search continues. The north marina remains open, park officials said.

kbennion@sltrib.comTwitter: @KimballBennion