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Body Of Drowning Victim Recovered

Sun., Aug. 4, 1996

The body of a Bonners Ferry man who drowned July 25 was recovered Saturday from Lake Pend Oreille.

Rick D. Atchley, 27, disappeared while swimming beside a friend’s sailboat. The mill worker’s body was found in 70 feet of water where he disappeared, some 200 yards off the southeast end of Warren Island.

Divers had searched repeatedly for the body. On Saturday morning, they finally found it.

“We were only in the water for 14 minutes,” said Bob Garrison of the Bonner County Tactical Diver Rescue.

Garrison and another volunteer, Sam Paris, found the body. It was transported to the Hope marina by a Bonner County marine patrol boat and turned over to the coroner, according to the sheriff’s office.

Saturday’s dive was coordinated by the Boundary County Tactical Dive Rescue team.

“We knew the people personally and the family asked us to help,” said Cliff Kramer of the Boundary County volunteer unit. “We definitely expected to find him. We felt very confident.”

Volunteer divers from Libby, Mont., joined Saturday’s effort. Also present was Thomas Sumpter, who owns the boat from which Atchley jumped.

The men carpooled together to their jobs at the Crown Pacific sawmill, said Sumpter’s wife, Marie.

“There were four guys that rode together, and three of them were on the boat,” she said.

, DataTimes MEMO: Cut in Spokane edition

Cut in Spokane edition

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