A 57-year-old Corning man drowned in Black Butte Lake on Saturday while trying to get his fishing boat into the water, reported the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office.
Jose Rodriguez, who was on a solo fishing trip, was driving a Ford Expedition and had backed his boat trailer and boat into the boat launch at Angler’s Cove at the lake sometime on Saturday.
The sheriff’s office received a report of a suspicious vehicle around 8:40 p.m., Saturday. The caller reported finding a white Ford Expedition with its doors open, engine running and attached to an empty boat trailer at Angler’s Cove.
Family members of Rodriguez arrived at the cove and told deputies Rodriguez had not returned from fishing that day.
With assistance from Black Butte Lake rangers, deputies located the fishing boat unoccupied on the shore across the lake from Angler’s Cove launch site. A California Highway Patrol helicopter arrived to assist the rangers, sheriff’s deputies in a search for the missing man.
Tehama County Sheriff’s Boating Safety Unit and Search and Rescue responded at daylight on Sunday. Search and Rescue members checked around the lake on ground and the boating unit used sonar to check under water.
The boating unit located Rodriguez’s body on sonar in about 20 feet of water and it was recovered by the Shasta County Sheriff’s dive team.
It appears, reported the sheriff’s office, while Rodriguez was launching the boat it began floating away and he entered the water in an attempt to recover the boat resulting in his accidental drowning. Neither alcohol or drugs appear to be a factor in the drowning.