Man Drowns In Pactola Reservoir; Body Recovered Despite Depth Of Lake

      Authorities in the Black Hills say a Rapid City man drowned Wednesday at Pactola Reservoir, west of Rapid City City. 

      57-year-old Terry Westergaard was boating and swimming on the lake when he went under the water near the face of the dam creating the lake and did not resurface.

       Pennington County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Brian Mueller says there were fears it could be days or weeks – possibly longer –  before Westergaard’s body could be found because Pactola is about 100-feet deep in that area, but that wasn’t the case.

       Mueller says the body was found about 9:00 thanks to specialized equipment including a remotely-operated underwater vehicle called the Fisher Finder and a tow-fish sonar unit from South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks.

       Even after locating Westergaard’s body, it took searchers about 2 more hours to recover it with 2 divers from the Rapid City Pennington County Water Rescue Team taken for medical evaluation due to the depth and water conditions

      Deputy Mueller says officials thank all the agencies that took part in or supported the search and recovery effort while grieving with the Westergaard family for its loss.

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