Mystery of sunken boat solved
LAKE DILLON – Cris Bezinque, with a little help from the state parks and recreation department, has cracked the mystery of the sunken boat – right down to the minute.
“The boat went down at 4 p.m. Sept. 25, 1983,” said diver Bezinque, who talked to the boat’s Lakewood owner this week.
The motorboat, discovered earlier this month in about 48 feet of water near the Roberts Tunnel, was the victim of a simple swamping. That report, Bezinque said, comes straight from the owner’s mouth. Bezinque turned in the boat’s registration number to the Colorado parks department, and employees there – after an extensive search through old boxes of records – led him to Mark Spande.
Spande does not have a telephone listing and could not be reached for comment.
Spande lived in Summit County for about 20 years, working as a plumber, among other things, Bezinque said. He apparently had bought the fixer-upper boat shortly before his fated trip onto Dillon Reservoir on that late September day. But once on the water, the motor died, Bezinque said. As Spande struggled to get the motor going, a powerboat swung in close to him, swamping his boat. Spande told Bezinque he reported his problem to the Dillon Marina, and a marina boat tied to his motorboat and tried to pull him to shore. But the tow line broke, and Spande’s boat sank, according to Bezinque. The boat was uninsured, Bezinque said.
Initially, Bezinque couldn’t find any reports on the accident, but Spande told him he reported it both to the marina and to Denver Water.
Marina Manager Bob Evans said the report was apparently made to the previous marina manager and was never passed along to him.
Divers with Summit County Water Rescue dove the wreckage earlier this week, finding nothing suspicious about it.
The boat isn’t likely to go anywhere. Denver Water isn’t concerned about it, and removing it wouldn’t be cheap.
“This year, nobody’s got the money for those kinds of larks,” Bezinque said. “We’ll probably use it for sonar training, as long as the lake is low.”
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