Body of missing swimmer recovered in Lake Belton with sonar equipment
by Adam Shear and Christine McCarthy
TEMPLE- Texas Parks and Wildlife divers used new sonar equipment to recover the body of a 33-year-old soldier who drowned in Lake Belton on June 28.
On Saturday, the dive team, consisting of five divers, and several game wardens, spent about 10 hours searching with the state-of-the-art sonar technology before finding the body of Jean-Baptiste Kesse, a soldier from Washington.
Kesse had stopped on his way to visit friends at the lake on June 28 and drowned while swimming near a boat. TPWD began searching for him immediately but had no luck because of the depth of the water and trees below the surface. Officials then decided bring in the towable sonar system that can search 300 feet deep below the surface.
By Saturday afternoon the crew pinpointed a possible target 105 feet below the surface that they believed could be Kesse's body. By 7:30 p.m., they recovered Kesse and, a half hour later, they brought him to shore.
Saturday's search was the second time sonar technology has been used to search for the man. The previous search equipment could only read depths of 40 feet or less.
The $40,000 sonar device is the only of its kind owned by TPWD and had to be brought in from East Texas.
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