Post Falls is mourning the loss of a popular businessman after Gary “Scott” Shawver lost his life on Lake Coeur d'Alene Saturday afternoon.
Shawver jumped into the lake to retrieve another person's hat that had blown off in a passing storm but wasn't able to get back to the boat.
The lake is about 160 feet deep where Shawver was last seen struggling in the waves. It's too deep off of Stevens Point for divers but not a side-scanning sonar that scans the bottom. Searchers will cruise a well marked out grid path until they are able to find him.
Lake Coeur d'Alene was placid Monday but Saturday, when a powerful storm plowed through, it looked more like the open sea.
“All of a sudden, a wave of wind just came down the lake and stared driving the water,” Logan Hendricks said.
From his cabin, perched above Stevens Point, Hendricks watched the drama unfold.
“I saw two gentlemen in the water try to, I'm not quite sure what they were trying to do, and now that I've heard the story, that's what they were trying to do is help the individual,” Hendricks said.
Three passengers jumped in the water trying to help Shawver but were unsuccessful. On Monday a small flotilla of friends and family were anchored nearby waiting for a side-scanning sonar to locate Shawver on the bottom.
“I just cant believe that he's gone, it's really just hard to believe. It's so sad,” Pam Houser with the Post Falls Chamber of Commerce said.
Around Post Falls Monday people are coming to grips with Shawver's disappearance in the lake he loved so much. The founder of the "Body by Scotty" auto body shop was very well liked and admired.
“Gee, I mean, what a loss, what a terrible loss for this community, I mean this was a nice guy,” Joyce Jantz said.
Shawver would give his customers rides to and from their homes when their cars were in his shop, Shawver said, a true believer in customer service.
“I read it in the paper this morning and I was totally shocked but I couldn't pass this place without going in and giving my condolences,” Jantz said.
Shawver threw a wildly popular and totally free block party for Post Falls twelve years in a row and there were many “Body by Scotty" donations to sport teams and charitable organizations.
“Just started with nothing, absolutely nothing and sacrificed many many things to build that business over there on 3rd Street and as he became more successful he just gave back more to the community, that's very, very true,” Houser said.
The side-scanning sonar the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office is using to look for Shawver offers very detailed images of the bottom but pretty much has to be dragged right over the top of what deputies are looking for.
In the meantime his family waits for new information and the sheriff's office is asking that other boaters stay away from the search area which is marked with patrol boats with red and flashing lights.