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LAKE PIRU | West Ventura County Focus

Search Continues for Body of Swimmer

September 30, 1997|VERONIQUE de TURENNE

Rescue workers continued to search the waters of Lake Piru on Monday for the body of a Port Hueneme man who apparently drowned during a family outing Sunday.

Ulysis Anthony Mendoza, 30, was swimming in about 18 feet of water near his family's boat in the north end of the lake Sunday afternoon when he began thrashing in the water and crying for help, family members told the Ventura County Sheriff's Department. Although someone tossed Mendoza a life preserver, he disappeared beneath the murky waters before he could grab it, witnesses said.

The sheriff's dive team will resume the search at dawn today, officials said.

"They'll keep looking until they find him, or until it gets dark," Sgt. John Hoelker said Monday. "If they don't find the body today, they'll be there at first light again tomorrow."

The lake, which has been closed to swimmers since Labor Day, has already claimed three lives this year, authorities said.

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