Search continues for high school senior missing in Lake Cumberland

SOMERSET — Volunteers continued searching Thursday for a high school senior reported missing in Lake Cumberland.

Tyler Pickerell, 18, disappeared Wednesday after the kayak he was in overturned, authorities said.

Pulaski County Sheriff Todd Wood said Pickerell and a friend were in the kayak, attempting to paddle from one side of the lake to the other in the Slate Branch area, when the small craft started taking on water and turned over.

The two talked briefly in the water, then swam for opposite shores. One made it to the bank, but it appeared that Pickerell went under, Wood said.

Police and volunteers searched the lake and the bank Wednesday without success.

On Thursday, Tiger Robinson, public safety director for Pulaski County, said rescue-squad members were using sonar equipment to try to locate Pickerell in the water.

The lake is 125 feet deep at the spot where he was last seen, complicating the search.

Pickerell is a senior at Southwestern High School, where he played football.

The principal at the school, Patrick Richardson, said Pickerell is a good, likeable young man with lots of friends. His disappearance caused grief among students, and many missed school on Thursday, Richardson said.

"It's been a tough day," he said.