Entrance to San Vicente Reservoir
Entrance to San Vicente Reservoir. Courtesy SDFRD

Hope has been lost for the safe recovery of a little girl who fell off a drifting personal watercraft in the San Vicente Reservoir near Lakeside.

Dispatchers were told just after 6 p.m. Saturday that a 12-year-old girl had gone off a WaveRunner boat in the lake, according to San Diego Police Officer Sarah Foster.

Multiple agencies responded to help search for the girl, including sheriff’s deputies, park rangers and San Diego lifeguards.

The girl is believed to have gone under the boat after falling overboard, Foster said. Her life jacket was later found, but there was still no sign of her.

Adults were in the boat at the time of the accident.

San Diego lifeguard Lt. Rich Stropky told NBC San Diego the boat was not operating under its own power when it happened, and was drifting with the waves and wind.

Rescue efforts were halted around sunset as conditions it became too dark for divers to safely continue.

The lake has clearer water than most, a help for search crews, but it also has a lot of underwater debris, Stropky told the news station.

“There’s big huge rocks you can get snagged on, and there’s lots of trees and branches and that makes this type of thing always dangerous,” he said.

Search crews were back in the water after daybreak Sunday, and the lake will be closed for recreation Sunday to aid in the recovery, according to Foster.

Lifeguards spoke to the boat operator and were able to narrow down a location to restart the search using SONAR, according to San Diego Fire-Rescue spokeswoman Monica Munoz.

— City News Service

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.