Search for Missing Walla Walla Student Suspended


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Recovery efforts suspended for freshman Sheri Booth Walla Walla University has been deeply saddened by the loss of Shari Booth, a freshman biology major.

On Monday, May 19, WWU freshman Shari Booth was reported missing after a dive with her Advanced SCUBA class. Searchers suspended recovery efforts on Tuesday evening.

“Our campus is devastated by this news,” says John McVay, university president. “We would ask an interest in your prayers on behalf of Shari’s mother, other family members, and her many friends here at Walla Walla University.”

A search and rescue operation was initiated immediately after officials received a report. Several teams of divers, including the Coast Guard and the United States Navy, were a part of the search. Their efforts continued until nightfall on Monday, and were resumed early Tuesday morning.

On Tuesday evening, the search crews gathered to assess the situation. Based on deteriorating weather conditions and the completion of an exhaustive search within safety limits, the decision was made to suspend the recovery effort.

The dive took place in Rosario Bay, the location of WWU’s Rosario Beach Marine Laboratory near Anacortes, Wash. The group had traveled to Rosario for a three-day diving trip.

On campus, students, staff, and faculty gathered Monday and Tuesday evenings for prayer vigils in Conard Chapel. Counseling staff have been made available to those who need them.

Booth was a biology student from Brush Prairie, Wash.

Memorial service information will be announced.

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/618