May 19, 2014
National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior
LAKE MEAD NATIONAL RECREATION AREA Media Advisory
For Immediate Release: May 19, 2014
Release No.: 2014-32
1 DEAD, MORE THAN 15 RESCUED AT LAKE MEAD NRA SUNDAY
BOULDER CITY, Nevada – One individual was killed and more than 15 people were rescued in separate incidents at Lake Mead National Recreation Area May 18.
Rangers were called in to support 15 unique rescues that included near drownings, disabled vessels, disabled vehicles and medical emergencies.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of those involved in Sunday’s tragic accidents,” said Christie Vanover, park spokesperson. “This is the time of year when hundreds of thousands of people come to Lake Mead National Recreation Area to enjoy the lakes. Unfortunately, it’s also the time of year when we see an increase in emergency incidents, many of which are preventable.”
1 DEAD IN APPARENT MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT
A 30-year-old male from Mexico City, Mexico, was killed in an apparent motor vehicle accident May 18 at Lake Mead National Recreation Area.
Around 3 p.m., the Lake Mead National Recreation Area Interagency Communication Center received a call from a visitor who came across an unresponsive male near a motor vehicle around mile marker 20 on Northshore Road.
National Park Service park rangers and Nevada Highway Patrol responded to the scene and located the man who appeared to be involved in a single-car accident. The Clark County Medical Examiner will determine cause of death and confirm his identity after next of kin have been notified.
The victim was not wearing a seatbelt. Speed appears to be a contributing factor. The incident is under investigation.
12-YEAR-OLD BOY IN CRITICAL CONDITION AFTER NEAR DROWNING
A 12-year-old boy was in critical condition after nearly drowning at Cottonwood East on Lake Mohave in Arizona May 18.
At 2:20 p.m., the Lake Mead National Recreation Area Interagency Communication Center received a call from a visitor who reported that a boy nearly drowned. The caller said bystanders provided immediate life-saving care and left the area to transport the boy to a hospital. Paramedics from the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office located them en route at 3:04 p.m. and began providing care. The boy was transported to Kingman, Arizona, and was later flown to Sunrise Hospital in Nevada in critical condition.
The victim was not wearing a life jacket.
5-YEAR-OLD GIRL RESCUED FROM DROWNING
National Park Service park rangers rescued a 5-year-old girl from drowning at Special Events Beach on Lake Mead May 18.
At 12:50 p.m., the Lake Mead National Recreation Area Interagency Communication Center received a call from a visitor who reported that the girl was playing on a knee board when the wind carried her approximately 200 yards from shore and blew her off the board. Two bystanders attempted to rescue her but were flipped off of their personal watercraft.
“A ranger reached her just as she went under and grasped her about four feet underwater,” said Vanover. “Had the rangers arrived seconds later, it might have been too late. Rangers were able to rescue her and save her life.”
She was transported to a nearby hospital by Mercy Air in fair condition. Nevada Department of Wildlife game wardens rescued the two bystanders who had no reported injuries.
The National Weather Service reported 20-30 mile-per-hour wind gusts at the time of the incident. The victim was not wearing a life jacket.
Community Ambulance also assisted with the rescue.
ADULT MALE RESCUED ON GOLD STRIKE CANYON TRAIL
A 23-year-old male was rescued along Gold Strike Canyon Trail May 18.
At 5:45 p.m., the Lake Mead National Recreation Area Interagency Communication Center received a call reporting that the victim was injured while hiking on the trail.
Officials from the National Park Service and Bureau of Reclamation reached the victim about 1.5 miles from the trailhead just before 8 p.m. He was treated on scene and carried to the trailhead with the assistance of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Search and Rescue.
He was transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital.
SUMMER SAFETY TIPS THAT WILL HELP PREVENT ACCIDENTS
May 17-23 is National Safe Boating Week. Visitors are encouraged to follow the below safety tips to ensure their visit to the park ends in positive memories rather than tragedy. Videos in with more safety tips are available in English and Spanish on the park’s YouTube page at http://goo.gl/vwX8Je.
- Wear a life jacket when swimming in the lake. Life jackets can and will save your life.
- Pool toys should not be used in the lake. Lake winds can easily carry the toys away, taking swimmers beyond their limits.
- Ensure there is always someone on the vessel who knows how to operate it, especially if the main operator plans to swim or ski.
- Check the weather; 20 mile-per-hour wind gusts make boating and swimming more hazardous.
- Due to excessive heat, hiking is not recommended June through September.
- Rangers will be responding to more calls over the summer and may not be able to respond as quickly to disabled boats and non-emergency incidents. Carry extra fuel, food and water on board and help fellow boaters.