A boat, shown in the lower left corner, was located by swimmers at Gartside Lake on Memorial Day. Authorities determined the boat had belonged to a 2020 drowning victim.

According to Richland County Sheriff John Dynneson, a boat recovered at Gartside Lake just outside of Sidney belonged to a 2020 drowning victim.

The Richland County sheriff’s Office received a report on May 31, 2021 from swimmers stating a sunken boat had been found at Gartside Lake. Sheriff’s office personnel, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks personnel and Montana State Patrol personnel responded to the location and conducted an investigation. The boat was recovered and was identified as belonging to Perry Bartels, 67, who was found deceased at the reservior on July 23, 2020.

Bartels had gone fishing by himself that afternoon by himself. The body was located but his boat, an aluminum v-hull boat, was not located at the time.

Dynneson said a significant windstorm had gone through the area on the day Bartels drowned and authorities believed the boat had likely sank as a result.

Dynneson said the boat had been positively identified as the one belonging to the deceased.

“Our deepest sympathy goes out to the Bartels family as they continue work through their grief,” said Dynneson. “May locating the boat help bring some comfort and closure to them.”

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