1 of 5
Stuart Johnson, Deseret News
A boat leaves the Utah Lake State Park Marina to go out and search for a missing boater Monday morning in Utah Lake.

High winds forced officials to call off their search Sunday for a man presumed drowned in Utah Lake on Saturday.

Craig Decker, 25, jumped into the water about a mile west of Utah State Park Marina to recover some equipment and did not resurface, Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon said. Decker was sailing with his parents on an 8-foot catamaran and jumped into about 10 feet of water.

Police were called around 7 p.m., and a search lasted until dark. Searchers returned to the lake Sunday, but weather caused them to call off their efforts around 2 p.m.

Searchers had used motorboats and wave runners to look for the man but were relying on technology as the search efforts shifted into a recovery effort Sunday.

"The conditions just aren't conducive to using sonar," Cannon said. "We've got those resources coming back in the morning, and we hope to have more success."

Decker, of West Jordan, was a student at Brigham Young University.

On New Year's Eve in 2006, Decker lost his right hand after a firework he was holding exploded. Police were unsure if the prothesis he wore played any part in his drowning.

Cannon said Decker may have inhaled some water or hurt himself on some debris in the water.

Lyle Decker told reporters Sunday his son often used his injury as a way to inspire others, according to KSL-TV.

Decker joked about losing his hand in a Deseret News story last year, calling himself "the poster boy for fireworks safety."

He was fitted for a prosthesis with a hook and decided to host a pirate party. "It's kind of like when life hands you lemons, make lemonade," he said. "If you have to have a hook, have a pirate party."


E-mail: afalk@desnews.com