• Sunset at Lake Mead's Boulder Basin

    Lake Mead

    National Recreation Area AZ,NV

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  • 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 »

  • Goldstrike Canyon, Arizona Hot Spring Trails Temporarily Closed

    A temporary emergency closure is in place for Goldstrike Canyon and Arizona Hot Spring trails within Lake Mead National Recreation Area, beginning Aug. 1. This closure includes National Park Service and Bureau of Reclamation lands. More »

  • Summer Fire Rules in Effect

    Lake Mead NRA is now enforcing summer fire restrictions. Please click 'more' to learn about the rules for fire during our hot, dry season. More »


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Date: September 13, 2009
Contact: Andrew S. Munoz

SEARCHLIGHT, Nev. – The National Park Service with the assistance of divers from Las Vegas Metro Police have recovered the body of Derek Au, 45, of California who drowned this morning in Lake Mohave.

The drowning was reported to the National Park Service at 11:33 a.m. by Cottonwood Cove Resort staff who overheard a distress call made on marine band radio VHF channel 16.

Park rangers arrived on-scene and began their search of the area at about 12:30 p.m. Divers from Las Vegas Metro Police were called in and they recovered his body in about 35-feet of water at 5:30 p.m.

Au was with his family on a houseboat in Mesa Cove on Lake Mohave. The houseboat was beached and Au’s 11-year-old daughter was in the water in an inflatable raft.

Witnesses say that the wind started to carry the raft away from the boat. That’s when Au jumped in the water without a life jacket to swim after his daughter.  He made it about 50-60 feet from the boat when he went underwater and didn’t resurface.

Another family member was able to reach the girl and bring her back to the boat.

This is the eleventh drowning the recreation area this year. All but two drowning victims were not wearing life jackets.

According to U.S. Coast Guard boating accident statistics released last month, over two-thirds of fatal boating accident victims drowned, 90 percent of them were not wearing life jackets.

His body has been turned over to the Clark County Coroner’s Office.  Next of kin have been notified. Au is from the Los Angeles area; the exact city is not yet confirmed.

Did You Know?

Scenic view over looking Lake Mohave

With more than 700 miles of shoreline, Lake Mead offers countless opportunities for exploration. One can return to Lake Mead National Recreation Area again and again to a favorite cove or hideaway in which to enjoy the special solitude, where water and desert contrast and complement each other.