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On Sunday, October 18, 2009, at about 1:20 p.m., National Park Service dispatch at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area received a distress call on marine band radio from people on board a sinking vessel. The call stated that the boat was rapidly taking on water and starting to sink. Rangers responded from Dangling Rope Marina and two additional locations on the lake. District Ranger Laurie Axelsen was first on scene, locating the boat near buoy 25 and Face Canyon at about 1:33 p.m. Axelsen immediately took two children and their two grandparents on board her vessel. Rangers Schreck and Brazell arrived shortly thereafter to assist. Attempts were made to save the vessel, but it sank about half an hour after the initial distress call was made. Rangers Hunter and Marsoobian transported the Salt Lake City family from the scene back to Wahweap.
Initial investigation indicates that while the family was boating in the Padre Bay area, the vessel struck a submerged object, possibly a rock, outside the marked channel. The operator continued upstream about two miles before he realized the boat had been damaged and was taking on water. Salvage efforts are underway to recover the cabin cruiser.