Divers with the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office recovered a missing Auburn man’s body Tuesday, three days after stiff winds and high waves knocked him from his paddle board into Lake Cle Elum.
According to the sheriff’s office, divers found 33-year-old Peter Phan – an off-duty firefighter – about 50 yards off shore in the area where witnesses last saw him.
Divers from the Kittitas, Yakima and King County Sheriff’s Offices worked with Kittitas County Search and Rescue using underwater remote cameras, trained cadaver dogs and Side Scan Sonar to find him.
According to the release, Phan had been paddle boarding with a friend off the northeast shore of Lake Cle Elum when rough conditions knocked them from their boards.
Deputies responded to Lake Cle Elum at 2:30 p.m. last Saturday. While a nearby jet ski pulled Phan’s friend from the water, Phan could not be found.
According to the release, Phan’s friend was wearing a life vest, but Phan was not.
In 2016, Phan joined Mountain View Fire as an emergency medical technician and resident volunteer firefighter at Station 94 in Auburn.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and it’s something I’m going to do,” said Phan, then a 26-year-old Algona resident who underwent three four-hour dialysis sessions each week at the Auburn Kidney Center. “Not a lot of people with my condition are able to do this. I want to prove I can do this.”
Phan finished the marathon in 5 hours, 41 minutes and 25 seconds, 1,247th overall in a field of 11,007 competitors.
Colleagues at Mountain View Fire and Rescue described Phan as a “happy person, always smiling,” who is already sorely missed.
Plans for a memorial are pending.
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses.