Update on Weekend Tragedies at Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Contact: Roxanne Dey, (702) 293-8947
Today, Sunday, May 14, at about 10:40 a.m., NPS Rangers and the dive team recovered the body of the North Las Vegas teenager who drowned last night at about 7:15 p.m. Rangers, the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW), and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (Metro) searched the area for several hours on the evening of May 13 attempting to locate the body of the victim. (See news release from May 13 for background information).
After recovering the body of the 16-year-old, the Park Rangers and dive team then resumed the search for the body of Thomas Washington, Jr., a 39-year-old man from San Diego, California. The search was called off for the night (Sunday, May 14) at about 5:00 p.m. (See attached May 12 news release for background information). The search is taking place in the Overton Arm of Lake Mead, not the Arizona side of the lake as was previously reported.
Boat Accident on Lake Mohave At about 2:20 p.m., Saturday, May 13, an 18-year-old young woman from California was critically injured when the personal watercraft she was a riding on (driven by a 16-year-old teenage girl from California), drove in front of a boat operated by another 16-year-old male from California. The operator of the boat tried to evade the personal watercraft (PWC) but was not able to miss it completely. The boat hit the rear end of the PWC. The young woman was hit several times by the boat propeller. A witness to the accident called for help at about 2:20 p.m. and brought the injured woman to the launch ramp. Rangers and an ambulance crew were able to administer medical aid to the woman. She was taken to a local hospital in the Bullhead/Laughlin area. The nature of her injuries required her to be airlifted to University Medical Center Trauma Unit in Las Vegas where she remains at this time.
“We want to thank our partners at the Nevada Department of Wildlife, Metro, and Arizona Game & Fish for all their support with these rescue and recovery operations this weekend,” said Superintendent Bill Dickinson. “It is a tragedy when people die or get injured in the park so needlessly. We must get visitors to understand the importance of wearing life jackets. We also can’t stress enough the importance of maintaining a safe boating distance away from other vessels.”
The National Park Service and several of their boating safety partners are holding a Safe Boating Day at Hemenway Harbor at Lake Mead this Saturday, May 20. There will be many boating experts on hand with practical demonstrations. The first 500 families that come by will receive a free U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket. All visitors are encouraged to visit boatlakemead.com. NDOW even has an online course people can take at www.ndow.org. We encourage the public to come to Safe Boating Day at Lake Mead this Saturday, May 20.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area is a unit of the National Park Service.
Did You Know?
Hoover Dam was the first major dam to span the wild Colorado River. One hundred twelve workers died before it was finished in 1935.