A Mercer Island man is missing after his boat was found grounded on Kirkland's shoreline Friday night, according to the King County Sheriff's Office.
The King County Sheriff's Office reports that Richard Sweezey was not at his home in Mercer Island Friday night when deputies tried to contact him, after a Kirkland resident in the 300 block of Lake Ave. W. reported that his boat had drifted onto the shoreline around 7 p.m., according to a King County Sheriff's Office press release.
King County Marine Unit Deputies arrived and found the boat unoccupied, according to the press release.
"We've searched by air and had boats on the water all day and last night, and unfortunately, we don't have anywhere else to search," said Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Sgt. Cindi West. A search of shorelines also yielded nothing, she said.
West said Seattle Harbor Patrol plans to get its sonar equipment out to help search underwater.
Sweezey, 67, is an experienced boater who has owned numerous boats, West said, but it is believed he was not wearing a life jacket when he was on the boat, according to another boater who saw Sweezey at 1 p.m. Friday at Queen City Yacht Club in Portage Bay in Seattle, where the boat usually is moored.
"His friend told us that he didn't have a life jacket, so his friend gave him one," West said. "We found that life jacket on the boat."
Sweezey’s vehicle was found parked in the parking lot at Queen City Yacht Club, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Deputies inspected the boat and found a portable generator onboard running and a tool that was connected to the generator outside the boat dangling into the water, the press release stated.
Fearing that Sweezey fell into the water, the Sheriff’s Office started a search of Lake Washington between the area of the slip and where the boat had run aground. Assisting with the search were the King County Sheriff’s Office Guardian 1 Helicopter, the U.S. Coast Guard and Seattle Police Marine Patrol, the press release said.
The friend at the yacht club said Sweezey had intended to take his boat onto Lake Washington to do repairs on the water, West said.
Deputies were able to contact Sweezey’s wife who had been out of town. She said she had been unable to get a hold of Sweezey Friday after repeated attempts, according to the Sheriff's office.
Investigators are asking for anyone who may have seen the boat on Lake Washington Friday afternoon to call the King County Sheriff’s Office at (206) 296-3311. The boat was described as a 1965 48-foot Chris-Craft Roamer.
King County waters have been dangerous this year. The Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Coast Guard want to remind boaters and swimmers to be aware of their surroundings when in, and near the water, and to wear life jackets. The weather may be warm outside but the water is still cold and poses a danger to swimmers.