Search suspended for man missing in Fremont Lake

Courtesy photo The Tip Top Search and Rescue crew navigates the boat ‘Closure’ over the Moosehead Bay area of Fremont Lake during the two-week-long search for missing Pinedale man Richard ‘Rick’ De Ruiter Zylker.

PINEDALE — Following more than two weeks on the water, the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) and Tip Top Search and Rescue (TTSAR) announced on Sept. 9 that they were suspending the search for missing Pinedale man, Rick De Ruiter Zylker.

Zylker, 52, was last seen by friends and coworkers swimming in the Moosehead Bay area of Fremont Lake on Wednesday, Aug. 24, when he disappeared beneath the water’s surface.

TTSAR utilized every resource available to them throughout the search, including boats, side-scan and 3D sonar, drones, remote-operated vehicles and scent dogs, but efforts to recover Zylker’s body were unsuccessful.

The sheriff’s office believes that due to the depth, pressures and temperatures, it is very unlikely that Zylker’s body will resurface on its own. Temperatures at the surface of the lake range from 65 to 69 degrees, but quickly drop to 35 degrees at 100 feet below the surface.

Underwater current is minimal to none in the area crews searched, as evidenced by the lack of silt accumulation, the fact that ambient light disappears around 170 feet below the surface and pressure reaching 110 pounds per square inch.

According to the sheriff’s office, search efforts might resume in a week or two using the remote-operated vehicle.

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