San Jose Man Dies in Hell Hole Reservoir

PLACER COUNTY, Calif. -- A search has been suspended for a San Jose man missing since the boat he was in capsized on Hell Hole Reservoir in the Sierra, the Placer County Sheriff's Department said.

Peter Flores, 50, was last seen around 9 p.m. Thursday night when the small fishing boat he was in with his son and another friend capsized in the frigid waters of the mountain reservoir, located about 65 miles east of Auburn.

The son and friend were able to make it to shore and were found by a boater Friday morning. Flores was believed to have attempted to swim to shore, said Dena Erwin, a sheriff's representative.

On Friday, Placer County Sheriff's Search and Rescue volunteers, with assistance from fire crews from Eldorado National Forest, were able to determine that Flores was not on the shoreline. Placer County Water Agency, which operates Hell Hole, also assisted with a boat and made their facilities available to searchers overnight.

The effort turned on Saturday from rescue to recovery. The Placer County sheriff's marine unit was assisted by similar units from the sheriff's departments of Nevada and Yuba counties. Using search boats, underwater search equipment and divers, they were unable to locate Flores' body. It was determined that the reservoir's rocky, rugged bottom would make it futile to continue the search. The search was suspended Saturday night.
  KCRA contributes to this report.

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