Divers and rescue teams fill Wyatt Park as they search Lake Stevens
with sonar in hopes of finding
a missing woman and her boat that
capsized last Saturday night.
A beautiful Saturday on a busy Lake Stevens came to a tragic end after a boat capsized on the south end of the lake late in the evening.
At approximately 9:30 p.m. emergency personnel were called after a 20-foot water ski boat carrying 10 passengers sank into the lake. Nine of the passengers were able to swim ashore or were picked up by other boats; however, the driver of the boat was not accounted for when rescue workers arrived.
“Passengers onboard tried to get the driver but could not,” the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department said in a released statement.
The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, Lake Stevens Police, Lake Stevens Fire, Snohomish County Parks, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office Technical Water Rescue Team, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Coast Guard and civilian boaters searched the waters of the lake to help find the missing 48-year-old Lake Stevens woman.
“Divers entered the water based on last known positions in an effort to find the operator who has been described as a local woman, 48-years-old,” the Sheriff’s office said.
According to friends, the woman is lifetime Lake Stevens resident Cindy Tate who many know from her years at both Lake Stevens branches of Wells Fargo Bank.
“Cindy was so full of life and energy. She helped so many in our community, especially in the banking aspect,” Jeniie Fenrich, friend and owner of Main Street Coffee said. “It’s hard to believe her ever present smiling face won’t be waiting for us at Wells Fargo anymore. She will be truly missed.”
Tate’s family and friends were gathered at Wyatt Park, also known as Davies Beach, waiting for news on their friend and loved one.
Rescue efforts turned into recovery efforts after searching for more than two hours. Recovery efforts suspended at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday night and continued again early Sunday morning.
Several police boats scanned the area using sonar provided by Seattle Police and at 2:58 p.m. on Sunday, the boat was located 50 feet under the water. The woman’s body was found near the boat.
“We identified the location of the boat with towed sonar and put divers down and they quickly found the boat and the body,” Snohomish County Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Dittoe said.
One of the questions that investigators are trying to answer is if the 20-foot boat was overloaded. They are also investigating what caused the large wave that caused the boat to capsize.
“It’s a very low profile boat with an open bow,” Sheriff’s spokesman Rodney Rochon said. “Water came into the boat and created some sort of instability and the boat capsized and sank.”
The body was released to the Snohomish County Medical Examiner Sunday evening. The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department will continue to investigate the exact cause of the accident.
Tate’s life has made a huge impact on those who knew her. Her smile was contagious and remembered by those who came in contact with her whether for business or personal reasons.
“I knew Cindy. She is a friend. She was a beautiful woman, inside and out and I am shocked to hear of hear drowning last Saturday night,” Desire Cahoon, friend and Publisher of the Lake Stevens Journal said. “Honestly, I can’t imagine how such a thing could happen to someone who was raised near our lake. Cindy was athletic, she could swim, ski, run, golf – how could her life end in such tragedy?”
Her best friend Dru Miller, will feel loss throughout her life. She remembers Tate as one of the most loving people she has ever met.
“If you could have a soulmate that was a girlfriend, she was it. I’ll miss her beautiful smile, our weekend walks,” Miller said. “The biggest heart, the biggest zest for life, the best mother in the entire world. The best sister, daughter and friend anyone could ever ask for, that was Cindy.”
All possible aspects as to the cause of this incident will be viewed and final determination will be based on the investigative findings. The initial reports indicate lifejackets were not in use at the time, the Sheriff’s office said.
It does not appear that alcohol or drugs were related to the cause of the accident.
The Marketplace Wells Fargo Bank, where Tate was the Manager, closed on Monday in remembrance of Tate.
If you would like to leave a comment about Cindy Tate, please click on the link below.Memories of Cindy Tate