Melvern man drowns at Melvern Lake while scuba diving

The Osage County Sheriff’s Office has identified a 37-year-old Melvern man who drowned Sunday near the Coeur d’Alene swim beach at Melvern Lake.

After receiving a 911 call reporting a possible drowning at 4:10 p.m. May 26, responders found the body of Vincent L. Rice, Melvern, about four hours later.

According to Osage County Sheriff Laurie Dunn, Rice had been scuba diving in an area near the swim beach, when people who were with him at the lake noticed he had not resurfaced. They reported the possible drowning.

Responders used various methods to search the area before finding Rice about 8:40 p.m.

The Osage County Sheriff’s Office, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism, Corps of Engineers, Osage County Fire District No. 3, Osage County EMS, and Coffey County Water Rescue responded to the scene.

The sheriff said the drowning is being ruled as accidental, but the sheriff’s office is awaiting the autopsy report for a final determination.

Coeur d’Alene Park is a Corps of Engineers’ campground in the southeast corner of the lake.

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