Crews searching for missing jet skier

August 24, 2013

SOUTH WILLARD — Search and rescue crews from the State Park Service and Weber County are searching the Great Salt Lake’s Willard Bay for a man who disappeared while jet skiing Friday afternoon.

Brigham Bradley, 32, was jet skiing with friends in the Willard Bay area and was last seen around 2 p.m. after one of their jet skis broke down out in the lake. He volunteered to stay with the vehicle while the others went to go get help.

When they returned about 10 minutes later with a cable to tow it back, Bradley was no where to be seen.

Emergency crews gathered at the Willard Bay south marina to organize search boats, divers, a helicopter and specially-trained dogs to track in the water to search for the missing man.

Although the State Parks Division is leading the effort, the search for Bradley is a personal one for the Weber County Sheriff’s Office because he is a staff member of the county jail as an EMT. His duties include providing medical care and security for nurses.

“He’s well known and liked by people in the office,” Weber Deputy Chief Klint Anderson said. “He even has a good rapport with the inmates, which isn’t easy.”

Bradley is also a volunteer firefighter in Syracuse.

“That’s just the kind of guy he is. He never liked being in the spotlight,” his brother Jared Bradley said of his public service record. “He’s a strong kid.”

While he is a well-known name in the Weber County Sheriff’s Office, Anderson said the search was typical of any situation and was given no special priority.

“We pull out all the stops if anyone was out there,” he said.

Bradley’s family was gathered at the marina to wait and assist in any way they could. He was the middle child of five siblings. Even friends from college had showed up in support, Anderson said.

“The hardest part now is just waiting,” Jared Bradley said. “We’re hoping it’ll turn out OK.”

Anderson said these types of search operations are difficult, and with the time that has passed from his disappearance, they’re fearing the worst.

Crews don’t know how Bradley could have gotten separated from the jet ski. He was not wearing a life jacket. He wasn’t known to have any medical conditions and was a strong swimmer, Jared Bradley said.

Crews kept searching the bay area until sunset. The low visibility would make it too difficult for divers to see anything. Crews expect to resume the search in the morning.