Woman’s body found in Lake Stevens

LAKE STEVENS — A woman’s body was found in 50 feet of water on Sunday afternoon after a boat she was driving the night before sank in Lake Stevens.

Divers recovered the woman’s body after she was missing in the lake for hours, Snohomish County sheriff’s Lt. Steve Dittoe said.

“It was an extensive search effort,” he said. “It was a difficult process for the family, to be on the shore while we were doing our job.”

Emergency crews first rushed to the south end of the lake late Saturday, when a 20-foot ski boat with a wakeboard tower was reported sinking, sheriff’s Lt. Rodney Rochon said.

Nine of the 10 boaters safely made it to shore. The driver, a 48-year-old Lake Stevens woman, did not.

Officials haven’t released the woman’s name. People at the scene on Sunday afternoon who said they knew her identified the woman as Cindy Tate. She was a longtime resident of Lake Stevens who worked at a Wells Fargo branch.

The boaters told rescuers they tried to help the woman but couldn’t.

Investigators are trying to figure out what went wrong on that boating trip, Rochon said.

Officials will look into what may have caused the boat to sink, including factors such as alcohol, speed and possible overloading.

The boaters reportedly weren’t wearing life jackets on Saturday.

Rescue crews returned to the lake about 6:30 a.m. Sunday.

About a dozen people at Davies Beach watched from behind a fence and a line of yellow tape as police boats slowly glided through the placid lake.

Some couldn’t hold back tears.

More than 20 people, including divers, were scouting the lake for any sign of the missing woman.

Rescue workers were using a sonar towed by a boat to scan the bottom of the lake.

About 3 p.m. the device led crews to where the vessel had sunk, Dittoe said. Divers found the woman’s body and the boat at the bottom of the lake.

“It was very hard on the family,” he said. “It’s hard to wait.”

Divers were expected to return to the lake today to decide how to lift the sunken boat.

The Snohomish County medical examiner is expected to do an autopsy soon.

Katya Yefimova: 425-339-3452, kyefimova@heraldnet.com.

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