Photo courtesy of the Bellevue Fire Department Twitter page

Photo courtesy of the Bellevue Fire Department Twitter page

Mercer Island Marine Patrol recovers Bellevue man who drowned in Lake Washington

Mercer Island’s Marine Patrol recovered an adult male who drowned in Lake Washington at approximately 5:30 p.m. June 17. He went missing about 22 and a half hours earlier in the Meydenbauer Bay area of Bellevue.

Redmond’s Strategic Robotic Systems utilized a remote operated vehicle (ROV) to recover the Bellevue man who was resting in 100 feet of water.

“The body was transported to shore and turned over to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office, who will determine the cause and manner of death,” according to the Mercer Island Police Department (MIPD).

The man was identified as Parahat Akyshov, 33, by the King County Medical Examiner’s office. A GoFundMe page honoring his memory has been set up at:

Members of the Mercer Island Marine Patrol and Bellevue emergency responders searched for the man on the evening of June 16 after he jumped into the lake to try and assist his young son who fell off their motorboat, according to the MIPD.

Recovery operations continued on June 17 by using bottom searching technology and video surveillance from area homes. MIPD’s Jeff Magnan said that when examining the videos, they were able to pinpoint the search area north of a buoy, and not south of the buoy as witnesses had described to police on June 16. The man was recovered in the same general area where he went missing, Magnan added.

The recovery involved two Mercer Island officers, two recruits on hand to observe, a Bellevue detective and ROV operator Jesse Rodocker, who is the president of Strategic Robotic Systems.

When they sent the ROV — which features imaging sonars — under water, it captured a photo of the body.

On June 16, crews were called to the scene near 800 Shoreland Drive SE at 7:05 p.m. to search for the man. The boy who fell into the water was wearing a life jacket; the father was not wearing a life vest. The rented vessel also contained the man’s other young son (the boys are ages 4 and 6) and two adult friends.

Sailing club members who were cruising by the area pulled the child from the water. One member attempted to rescue the father, who popped out of the water, but then submerged and didn’t return to the surface, MIPD said.

Magnan said they don’t know what caused the man to submerge, and there was no indication that alcohol was involved.

According to the Bellevue Fire Department Twitter page: “(The) Marine Patrol Unit determined the depth at which the victim slipped underwater was over 100 feet. Due to the time that had elapsed and the depth, a rescue was not possible.”

On June 16, U.S. Coast Guard units conducted an air search and could not locate the missing man. The rented vessel was towed to the MIPD dock pending further investigation.

Magnan said that Strategic Robotic Systems offers its services to MIPD for free, and helped them recover the bodies in a double drowning in Lake Washington about two years ago. That search effort covered a square mile, from south of Seward Park in Seattle to the west side of Mercer Island and across to Seattle, Rodocker said.

The ROV is an underwater drone, which is programmed to cover an automated path and creates about 100 feet of vision, Rodocker said. Because they knew the area where the man submerged on June 16, it took about 30 minutes to locate the body, he added.

Strategic Robotic Systems has been in existence for six and a half years and manufactures systems that are used primarily by the military. Because they’re local, Rodocker said he works with area agencies like the MIPD, King County Sheriff’s Office and Seattle Police Harbor Patrol.

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