Man drowns north of Lake Havasu City

A 69 year old California man drowned Wednesday on the lake north of Lake Havasu City, according to law enforcement.

On May 24th at approximately 3:30 pm, boating deputies responded to a report of a drowning on the Colorado River, approximately 2.5 miles north of Lake Havasu City. According to witness statements, the victim jumped from his anchored vessel to retrieve a fallen fishing pole. The man, Robert Gardella, 69 of Phelan, California, began struggling in the water for an unknown reason, went under the water and never resurfaced.

San Bernardino County Sheriff, Mohave County Sheriff and Lake Havasu City Police divers conducted a series of rescue dives and remote operated vehicle (ROV) sonar scans in an attempt to find the victim. A helicopter from the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) was also on scene to conduct aerial searches. Deputies continued their search until sunset, the victim was not located at that time and search operations were stopped until the next morning.

Search operations continued at approximately 8:00 am on Thursday morning, and at approximately 9:30 am, Gardella was located by divers, recovered and pronounced deceased. He was turned over to the care of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Coroner Division.

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