Nyssa man drowns in Lake Owyhee

A Nyssa man died at Lake Owyhee March 13 after he fell from his boat and drowned. (The Enterprise/File).

LAKE OWYHEE – A 42-year-old Nyssa man’s body was recovered from the reservoir last Wednesday by the Malheur County Sheriff’s Office.

Brian Wolfe, Malheur County sheriff, said Steven Nichols disappeared on the lake March 13 not long after another boater spotted Nichols’ boat adrift in the lake and stopped to ask if he needed help.

“He offered to pull him back into the dock,” said Wolfe.

Wolfe said Nichols declined help and remarked he had a trolling motor that he could use.

“The guy says, OK, I’m going back up the reservoir to fish and I will check on you later,” said Wolfe.

Later, when the boater returned from fishing he noticed the boat Nichols was in up against the rocks at the edge of the lake.

“He goes and looks at it and the trolling motor is still running but he can’t find the occupant anywhere. So, we’re called and we go up and start searching Saturday night until dark. We returned on Sunday but were unsuccessful in finding anything other than the victim’s hat Sunday afternoon,” said Wolfe.

Wolfe said the sheriff’s office searched for Nichols for the next three days and eventually called in an Idaho, contractor with a special sonar device.

“Late on the afternoon Tuesday the sonar detected what appeared to be a body at the bottom of the lake at 290 feet,” said Wolfe.

 “It appears as if he went overboard somehow. There was no real evidence of any trauma,” said Wolfe.


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