Sheriff’s office continues search for missing swimmer on Lake Travis

From Travis County Sheriff’s Office on July 10, 2021

At 4:53 p.m. on Saturday, July 3, 2021, Travis County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 report of a missing swimmer in the Hatter Cove area of Lake Travis. Multiple agencies participated in rescue efforts. At 5:29 pm, rescue efforts shifted to recovery. TCSO engaged in recovery efforts until dusk, assisted by Texas Parks & Wildlife, Jonestown Police Department and Fire Department, Lake Travis Fire & Rescue, Briarcliff Fire Department and Starflight.

The missing swimmer has been identified by family as Lonnie Gray, 28 of Navasota, TX. He was last seen swimming in an area of Lake Travis that is 85-130 feet deep. TCSO’s search grid encompasses several points where witnesses reported seeing Gray. The area is several football fields in length with groves of trees at the bottom, which are quite hazardous for sonar and divers.

TCSO’s search efforts were continuous throughout the week. Deputies started shoreline searches daily, at 6:00 am. During daylight hours, TCSO’s entire fleet of boats actively searched using various types of sonar. Texas Parks & Wildlife assisted nearly every day, using their deep sonar. Tuesday afternoon, Austin Police Department searched using their sonar and Houston Police Department searched using their 360 sonar on Wednesday. TCSO’s Dive Team remained on stand-by to dive whenever a viable location was identified. Search dogs and underwater remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) were also used in the recovery efforts.

Lake Patrol Deputies will continue to respond to calls on Lake Travis and while on duty, will also conduct surface and shoreline searches. Sonar and dive team searches will continue on an intermittent basis.

TCSO is grateful to all the agencies who assisted in the search and we extend our heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr. Gray.

Gray is one of three swimmers reported missing on Lake Travis within the last 10 years who have not been recovered. In May of 2018, Manuel Salas of Elgin was last reportedly seen near Mansfield Dam (140 feet deep) and in July of 2014, Song Hy Sok of Dallas was last reportedly seen in the Sandy Creek Arm (90 feet deep with pecan trees).