MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — The body of a North Carolina man who drowned while trying to save his brother more than two months ago has been recovered from the bottom of a lake in southwestern Oregon with the help of volunteers from Idaho.

The body of Juan Carlos Fuentes, 29, was located about 135 feet (41 meters) below the surface on Thursday with help from an Idaho couple with an underwater sonar they use to help law enforcement agencies in such searches, The Mail Tribune reported Friday.

Fuentes drowned June 9 trying to save his brother, 25-year-old Irving Fuentes, who had fallen off an inner tube that was being pulled by a boat on Lost Creek Lake. Irving Fuentes also drowned.

Neither was wearing a life vest.

The Klamath County Sheriff’s Office also has a Side Scan Sonar, but the one offered by Gene and Cindy Ralston of Kuna, Idaho is much heavier, making it easier to control underwater and allowing for the body’s discovery in deep water, the newspaper reported.

Side Scan Sonar uses soundwaves — similar to ultrasound — to create images of lake bottoms.

Gene Ralston said he has been involved in at least 117 recoveries using Side Scan Sonar since 1999, but this was his first in Jackson County.


The sheriff’s office contacted the Ralstons right after the drowning after working with them on two other recovery operations in Klamath County, but the Ralstons were working on another search and then had to repair their boat.

Gene Ralston said they volunteer their time and equipment, although families typically reimburse them for their mileage.

“What we do gives us a good feeling,” Gene Ralston said. “That feeling is not for sale.”


Information from: Mail Tribune,