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Rescued jet skier spent the night in waters of Flathead Lake

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Flathead Jet Ski Rescue
Flathead Jet Ski Rescue
Missing Flathead Lake Jet Skier Map
Posted at 12:19 PM, Jun 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-23 20:44:28-04

(UPDATE: 9:22 a.m.) The Lake County Sheriff's Office reports a jet skier who was reported missing late Wednesday has been found and is safe.

Alec Buckels, 19 years old, was found by Two Bear Air in the water near Woods Bay at approximately 9 a.m., according to Lake County Sheriff Don Bell.

Flathead County Sheriff Brian Heino says Buckels experienced mechanical issues with his jet ski and couldn't get back to shore.

Following failed attempts at locating Buckels on Wednesday night, aircraft were launched Thursday morning and he was found.

A Flathead County Search and Rescue boat was deployed to rescue Buckels from the water.

Flathead Jet Ski Rescue

Sheriff Heino says Buckels was very cold and they warmed him up on the boat, but otherwise, Buckels seems to be fine.

(1st REPORT, 9:11 a.m.) Crews are continuing to search for a jet skier who has been reported missing on Flathead Lake.

Lake County emergency dispatchers received a report of an overdue jet skier in the Lakeside area at approximately 11 p.m. on Wednesday.

According to Lake County Sherriff Don Bell, Alec Buckels, 19, had been out on a jet ski accompanying others who were on a boat.

The two vessels separated, and Buckels has not been seen or heard from since.

Lake County Search and Rescue, Flathead County Search and Rescue, and Two Bear Air spent the night searching for Buckels.

Buckels — who was operating a newer black/grey Sea Doo, 3-seat jet ski — was last seen in the area between Dayton and Lakeside on the West Shore of Flathead Lake.

Anyone with information about Buckels is asked to contact the Lake County Sheriff’s Office at (406) 883-7301.