A New Jersey man, who was reported missing since early August, was found dead from the deepest part of Lake Tahoe on Sunday.
The remains of Ryan Normoyle was recovered from 1,565 feet under the water after rescuers used a Google location activation on Normoyle’s phone.
According to the South Lake Tahoe Police, the talented 29-year-old woodworker recorded himself jumping off a boat he rented on August 10 and “wasn’t able to make it back.”
“It looks like he was playing around in the water didn’t know the boat was in gear,” said Lt. Travis Cabral.
Investigators believed that the boat moved forward at a slow speed, but Normoyle was unable to swim fast enough to catch the boat.
Non-profit group Bruce’s Legacy, which conducts search and recovery operations, used the GPS data the phone captured while recording, and used that data to narrow down a possible location for a search and rescue operation.
“Without this, there would have been no hope to know where to look,” the group said.
South Lake Tahoe Police Department started another search on September 24, and together with the Bruce’s Legacy, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Washoe County Sheriff’s Office and the South Lake Tahoe Fire Department.
Normoyble was found two days later, near the GPS coordinates that were collected from his phone.
“[I]t takes many volunteers to do what we do,” said Bruce’s Legacy.
“There is no way this recovery could have been pulled off without all the help and cooperation that we had here on Lake Tahoe this week. It takes special people to be able to do this work and we had many stepping up to get Ryan back home.”
His remains wasn’t recovered until September 27 due to technical issues.
The incident marks the deepest recorded recovery in the United States and Canada, breaking the previous record in 2018 at a depth of 1,062 feet.