Three die in boating incident on June Lake

Mono County Sheriff’s Office press release

On the morning of Saturday, October 15, 2016, five men took their personal boat out on June Lake.

Winds were blowing strong from the west, and the water was very choppy. Sometime near 10:00 a.m. the boat began taking on water, and the boat capsized and sank.

None of the boaters were wearing life jackets. Two of the men made it to shore, but the other three could not be found.

First responders searched both on the water and from the shore until daylight was lost. The two surviving men were medically treated and released.

The recovery effort continued at daybreak on Sunday morning, with searchers again on the water and the shore. The search ensued as long as weather and daylight permitted through Sunday, Monday and into Tuesday morning.

Family members gathered in June Lake and awaited news of their loved ones. At approximately 11:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, the boat and all three bodies were located near the middle of June Lake.

Divers successfully recovered all of them, and the family was notified of their recovery.

All of the men are from Tehachapi and are related to one another. The surviving men are Caleb Crouch, age 22; and John Langston, also age 22.

The deceased are Doug Langston, age 46; Caleb Johnson, age 21; and Jacob Langston, age 14.

We especially want to acknowledge the agencies who assisted: San Bernardino County Sheriff Emergency Operations Dive Rescue, Mono County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue, Lyon County Search and Rescue, Mary Cablk and Inca, June Lake Fire Department, Lee Vining Fire Department, Mammoth Lakes Fire Department, Mono County Paramedics, US Forest Service and Sierra Lifeflight.

Also many thanks to the local businesses who supported our efforts and cared for the families: Boulder Lodge, June Lake Marina, Double Eagle Resort, Hideaway Condominiums, Fern Creek Lodge, Stellar Brew, Trouttown Joe’s, Looney Bean Coffee in Bishop, O’Hana’s 395, Big Rock Resort, June Lake Ski Area. We apologize for anyone we may have overlooked.

The community of June Lake and all of Mono County truly wrapped their arms around the families and the first responders and took great care of us during this tragedy. The families expressed repeatedly how loved and cared for they felt.

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9 Responses to Three die in boating incident on June Lake

  1. joe October 20, 2016 at 1:24 pm #

    Fished there many times including very high winds. Middle of lake worst place to be. Might be even worse with drought. Bet no marina was open to warn them, and no one else on the lake to view this tragedy

  2. Trouble October 20, 2016 at 10:21 am #

    Rick, I don’t know if this was a rental or not . I once rented a platoon boat at another lake. A storm set in in minutes and we had to come back in quickly. The boat rental people refused to refund any thing.

    • Sierra Lady October 20, 2016 at 8:41 pm #

      In anticipation of the incoming storm, I was told the private marina operators at June Lake took their boats out of the water so were therefore not letting any rentals out. On one of the Facebook posts another family member said the family was using their brand new “ski boat” for the first time. It was relayed there were no PFD (personal flotation devices) on board nor were any of the passengers wearing one. This family was on a fishing vacation together and out to have a good time and sadly the wrong decision was made. It’s a horrible tragedy that didn’t need to happen. Thoughts and prayers remain with everyone affected.

      B. Richter

  3. 395 & PCH October 20, 2016 at 9:56 am #

    You are absolutely correct on this one Rick, we were also up there that week & when we first heard of this, the first thing I thought of was “why & the heck did they go out there on June Lake that day in a boat”! It was way too rough & unsafe for boats to be out there; I feel real bad for the involved families, especially that teenage boy, who was a Police Explorer from the Tehachapi Police Department- very sad & preventable.

  4. Rick O'Brien October 19, 2016 at 8:59 pm #

    I was in the area that day and anyone with any common sense would have passed on putting a boat in ANY body of water that entire weekend. We were fishing the river from shore and left because of the wind. I am sympathetic for the family, (families) , but this was TOTALLY avoidable.

    • Wondering October 20, 2016 at 6:02 am #

      Rick, some things are better left unsaid. Bob, can you remove that comment, I’m sure the family is going through enough.

  5. Low Inyo October 19, 2016 at 7:08 pm #

    Reminds me some of the terrible tragedy at Convict Lake back in 1990….so sad,shakes you to the soul…prayers to the family and friends.

  6. Tinner October 19, 2016 at 12:10 pm #

    Rest in peace, gentlemen.
    Prayers for the family.

  7. tourbillon October 18, 2016 at 9:05 pm #

    Sheriff, when reporting on three deaths, report the deaths and the circumstances. Leave the self-congratulations and commendations for a follow up report. Won’t seem so…unseemly.


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