Search for drowning victim at Thunderbird Lake

A member of the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Water Rescue discusses with a member of the Sullivan Fire Protection District how the pair are going to continue to search for the body of a man who authorities say jumped into Thunderbird Lake and did not resurface. The search was eventually suspended Wednesday, Sept. 8, but was continued the following morning. 

Dive teams are returning this morning to search the waters of St. Clair’s Thunderbird Lake for a man who officials say “jumped into the lake and did not resurface.”

Missouri State Highway Patrol Public Information Officer Dallas Thompson said the dive team suspended its search at 9 p.m. Wednesday and had resumed its search Thursday morning. Among the agencies responding to the scene were the St. Clair Fire Department, Sullivan Water Rescue and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department. 

“It is a small lake. The water is pretty still, so there is not much of a current like what you would see on the Missouri or Mississippi rivers,” Thompson said. He said search teams will be using sonar technology to try and locate the man, who went underwater around 5 p.m. Wednesday evening. 

Details such as the man’s name and age are not being released by the highway patrol. 

“Searching in the water is always a challenge, even in small lakes,” Thompson said. He said dive teams will likely have to battle vegetation and other undergrowth as they search for the man. It is unknown if the man was wearing a life vest when he entered the water.