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TAYLORSVILLE - A week after he was reported missing, a Bullitt County man’s body has been recovered in at Taylorsville Lake.
Anthony W. Reynolds, 36, of Shepherdsville, had been last seen about 10 a.m. on Friday, May 29 after apparently losing control of the boat he was driving, said Lt. Shane Carrier of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Carrier said that Reynolds was test driving a client’s boat that he had repaired, when witnesses said the vessel made an abrupt right turn causing Reynolds to be ejected from the port, or left, side.
Witnesses reported that Reynolds was semi-conscious and some even stated they heard him yell for help. Carrier said that four boaters in the area responded to his rescue, but “the attempt to throw him a lifejacket was unsuccessful.”
Reynolds was not wearing a life jacket when the incident occurred. He was, however, wearing a kill switch laniard that shut down the boat’s engine after he was ejected.
Chief Nathan Nation, said that the Taylorsville-Spencer County Fire Department was called to the scene around 10:30 a.m. to assist in Reynolds’ rescue.
Two of their divers entered the water and proceeded to make bounce dives in the area where the victim was last seen.
The rescue effort continued for another hour and a half as more TSCFD divers arrived at the scene, but their search was unsuccessful. When all hope for a rescue was abandoned, Nation said efforts converted into a recovery mission.
“Visibility in a lake like this is very poor,” said Nation of the difficulties in recovering potential drowning victims. Divers were also dealing with an area of Taylorsville Lake commonly referred to as the “hump” by local fishermen. The underwater hill poses the added complication for divers who are searching a location that can drop from a depth of 10 feet to 35 feet in a relatively short distance.
Since Friday, divers have expanded the search grid to an area that is roughly 300 yards by 200 yards, said Nation. Recovery teams are using global-positioning technology to ensure they do not cover that same area twice.
Meanwhile, teams on the surface have been utilizing side scan sonar to inspect wide columns of water extending up from the lake bed. During the last eight years, Carrier said he can recall only two drownings at Taylorsville Lake.
The most recent occurred last summer when a Louisville man drowned near the shore. The man had been fishing near the Settler’s Trace boat ramp when he fell in the water and his foot became lodged in some tree branches.
“We have been very fortunate on this lake that it (the number of drownings) is not higher than it is,” said Carrier. Especially due to the high volume of summer traffic on the 3,000-acre lake. Over Memorial Day weekend, Carrier said there was a minor accident involving two boats, but there were no injuries.
As the search for Reynolds continues, the Settler’s Trace boat ramp will open. Authorities closed the entry point for boaters for a nine-hour period Friday to allow room for rescue workers and to keep down traffic on the lake.
Over the weekend, Carrier said, law enforcement officers patrolled the perimeter of the search grid to keep recreational boaters from injuring rescue divers.
Carrier said concerned friends and family members have remained at the lake despite urgings by law enforcement to go home and rest.
In an effort to provide the family comfort, Carrier said that Taylorsville Marina provided Reynolds’ family the use of a house boat.
The marina has also allowed divers the use of a house boat so they can rest in the air-conditioning and utilize the bathroom.
Recovery crews are not able to estimate how long their mission will continue.
“But there will be some activity until he is found,” said Nation.
Reynolds was the owner of Kentucky Boat Services, formerly known as Reynolds Marine Service.
At the time of the incident, Reynolds was test driving a Bullet bass boat with a 300 horsepower outboard motor. According to preliminary investigation, Carrier said the boat had no mechanical problems that could have resulted in the incident.
Once the victim is discovered, an autopsy will be performed to determine whether the cause of death was by drowning or by other injuries.
In addition to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Taylorsville-Spencer County Fire Department, other agencies to assist in the recovery effort were: Spencer County Sheriff, Spencer County EMS, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, search dogs from the state and Spencer County Emergency Management. Additional dive teams that have assisted are: Mount Washington Fire Department, Shelby County Fire Department and Louisville Metro Police Department.