Tragedy unfolded on a quiet summer afternoon at Reynolds Pond east of Bend Thursday as divers searched for and located the body of a 66-year-old Bend man who drowned at the popular recreation spot south of Alfalfa.
Deschutes County sheriff’s Sgt. Troy Gotchy said two men fishing on the shore reported around 12:45 p.m. that a man had disappeared from sight and could be in distress and need rescue in the pond, located on the northwest edge of the Badlands Wilderness Area and about 15 miles east of Bend.
Sheriff’s deputies responded, assisted by Bend Fire Department searchers, Sheriff’s Search and Rescue and BLM, which manages the site, Gotchy said.
The victim could not be found, so other resources were called in, including the Bend Fire Department dive team, which found the man in the water about 40 minutes after the initial call, the sergeant said.
He was identified as Lawrence Domanski of Bend.
Damanski's wife later told NewsChannel 21 she was roughly 100 yards away when her husband, walking in the shallow water by the shore, apparently fell into the water from a steep drop-off.
The pond is a popular spot for residents to cool off on a hot summer day. It was stocked with largemouth bass and sunfish years ago, and is also frequented by Canada geese. There are some islands in the pond, and a footbridge as well.
An investigation into what led to the man's death was under way. But speaking in general about water safety, Gotchy reminded swimmers to make sure to be in an area where others can see you, in case you have problems and call for help. If you start to feel tired, turn back to shore, rather than continue on, he said.