Authorities still trying to recover body of missing swimmer

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Authorities spent the day trying to recover the body of a swimmer who disappeared at Lake Travis over the weekend.

They're faced with many obstacles which is why they're using every resource they can to help in their efforts. 

It's day three in the effort to find the body of a swimmer at Lake Travis. 

"It's horrifying. I mean, the water is such a powerful - but at the same time - peaceful entity. The fact that just anybody can fall victim to it at any time is kind of horrifying," says Andrew Marsh, Austin resident. 

The Travis County Sheriff's Office is relying on technology because locating the body has proven to be difficult. Lake patrol deputies are using a (ROV) remote operated vehicle to search the water. It's like a small submarine with a camera in it and is controlled above water connected by a tether. Authorities are doing grid and sonar searches in the area where the man in his 50s was last seen, close to Mansfield Dam.

"Over here where it's a steeper area, just a straight drop off from the rock. On average, that's going to indicate a steep drop in the water line as well," says Brittany Haury, manager, Dive World Austin.

Brittany Haury is the manager at Dive World Austin and has volunteered in search and rescue missions in other cities before. She gives us a glimpse of what authorities are facing under water.
"They have to be prepared for whatever they might encounter, whether it be trees or large boulders or sunken house boats or whatever they might find. These guys are facing a really unique challenge in that, every little area of the lake is a little different," say Haury. 

The Travis County Sheriff's Office says they have switched their search efforts to recovery mode. A DPS helicopter conducted aerial searches, flying above the rescue boats. The depths of water they're searching is more than 100 feet deep. For that reason, divers with the Sheriff's Office couldn't be utilized Monday. Instead, Austin Police Department EOD divers came to assist, they are trained to go down deeper under water. But, it can be dangerous.

"We had a beautiful weekend, lots of people out enjoying themselves - the visibility would have dropped because of boating. It really could be difficult because from a distance, a tree could look like a person, there's lots of ledges, there's lots of under-hooks, there's plenty of places for people to get snagged up on or caught up. So, it's not an easy effort. I'm sure they're doing their absolute best," says Haury.

The patrol deputies will continue to monitor the surface and shorelines while on duty.