• Sunset at Lake Mead's Boulder Basin

    Lake Mead

    National Recreation Area AZ,NV

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  • I-15 REOPENED, LAKE MEAD ENTRANCE FEES TO RESUME SUNDAY

    The Nevada Department of Transportation reopened a northbound and southbound lane of Interstate 15 Sept. 12; therefore, Lake Mead National Recreation Area entrance fees will resume Sept. 14. More »

  • Important Notice to Mariners

    Lake Mead water elevations will be declining throughout the summer. Before launching, check lake levels, launch ramp conditions, changes to Aids to Navigation and weather conditions by clicking on More »

  • Areas of Park Impacted by Storm Damage

    Strong storms rolled through Lake Mead National Recreation Area Aug. 3-4, causing damage to some areas of the park. Crews are working to restore the below locations. Debris may be present in other areas of the park, as well, especially in the backcountry. More »

NPS Ranger Ryan Regnell to Receive Valor Award In Washington, D.C., May 4, 2006

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Date: April 26, 2006
Contact: Roxanne Dey, (702) 293-8947

In an awards ceremony to be held May 4, 2006, at the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) headquarters in Washington, D.C., Lake Mead NRA Ranger Ryan Regnell will be among those honored for his actions that helped save eight lives.

Valor awards are presented to DOI employees who have demonstrated unusual courage involving a high degree of personal risk in the face of danger. Recipients receive a special certificate and citation signed by the Secretary of Interior and an engraved gold Valor Award medal.

On July 25, 2003 at about 11 a.m. a severe thunderstorm warning was in effect for the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Regnell was on boat patrol in the Boulder Basin of Lake Mead when 50-mile-per-hour winds and four-to-six-foot waves formed, catching many boaters by surprise. He observed a boat about mid-basin that appeared to be in trouble. Through heavy waves and high winds, Regnell headed out to the boat.

When he arrived he found an open bow low-profile boat. The boat had three adults, three children, and two infants. The vessel was taking in a lot of water and in danger of sinking. At this point, the vessel engine died. Regnell recognized the seriousness of the situation, attached a tow line to the vessel and instructed the rest of the occupants to all put on life jackets. Regnell, at great personal risk, was able to turn the troubled vessel into the wind helping to keep it afloat and keeping the occupants inside the vessel.

Regnell began to tow the vessel to Lake Mead Marina and called for back up from Nevada Division of Wildlife Wardens. With the heavy load on his tow line, and the additional strain from the wave action, the line snapped. Regnell instructed the NDOW Wardens Karen Welden and Fred Esparza to pull alongside the troubled vessel and begin removing passengers. They were able to fit four of the visitors in their boat and Regnell took three. Regnell then asked the owner of the vessel to tie off another tow line and again tried to save the vessel and tow it back to the marina. About ¼ mile away from Lake Mead Marina, under the heavy strain of the weather and wave action, the tow line broke a second time. The NDOW Wardens were able to secure their line to the vessel and bring the vessel to the launch ramp at Lake Mead Marina.

Because of Ranger Regnell’s expertise, courage, skill, and teamwork, all eight occupants of the vessel were safely delivered to shore. For his heroic actions, courage and professionalism, Ryan Regnell is granted the Valor Award of the Department of the Interior. Wardens Welden and Esparza were also recognized with Valor Awards.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area is a unit of the National Park Service.

Did You Know?

Hoover Dam In Take Towers

Lake Mead was named in honor of Dr. Elwood Mead. As Commissioner of Reclamation from 1924 - 1936, he drafted new specifications for a giant project that would dam the Colorado River and create the world's (at that time) largest artificial lake.