On 6/20/17 at approximately 3:22 pm Chelan County Marine Deputies responded to calls of a possible drowning in the area known as “Three Fingers” on Lake Chelan, within the Chelan City limits. Upon further investigation it was learned that a group had rented a boat and were swimming off the back of the boat towards the middle of the lake in approximately 30-40 feet of water.
While swimming one individual from the group started experiencing difficulties. Others from the group attempted to throw him a personal flotation device but were unsuccessful before the he sank beneath the surface. The group of friends was unable to locate the distressed swimmer.
The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office responded with multiple vessels along with the aid of rescue swimmers from Chelan Fire, but were unable to locate the missing swimmer who has been identified as 23 year old Donghoon Lee of Seattle. Donghoon was on break from attending the University of Washington on a Student Visa from South Korea. Rescue workers continued to work into the evening but were unsuccessful in locating Donghoon who is presumed to have drowned.
Chelan County Sheriff’s Office staff were able to work with staff from the South Korean Consulate and make the emergency notification to Donghoon’ s family.
Search and recovery efforts are scheduled to continue at 10:00 am on Wednesday, June 21. Equipment and personnel include three vessels from the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office Marine Division, two divers from Chelan County, and seven to eight volunteer divers from Steven’s County along with underwater camera equipment from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office would use this time as a reminder to stay educated on water safety in order for everyone to have a safe and healthy summer while visiting Chelan County.