Bishop man drowns in Crowley Lake |

Bishop man drowns in Crowley Lake

Staff Reports

A Bishop man drowned after diving in after an air mattress that had blown into Crowley Lake on Wednesday afternoon.

Jess Monroe Watts, 50, was pronounced dead after divers found his body 16 feet under water on Thursday.

According to Sheriff Ingrid Braun, Mono deputies and emergency medical personnel were dispatched to the lake at about 4:11 p.m.

Witnesses on shore said that wind caught the floating air mattress and blew it into the water. Watts tried to swim after the mattress. The witness called 911 for help after Watts did not resurface.

Mono deputies, the Search and Rescue Team, Long Valley firefighters the California Highway Patrol and a CHP helicopter responded on Wednesday, but couldn’t find Watts.

On Thursday the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Dive Team arrived and using sonar and divers were able to recover Watts’ body from the lake after a few hours.

Braun expressed rescuers condolences to Watts’ family and friends and thanked the agencies who aided in recovering him.