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Contact: Roxxane Dey, (702) 293-8947
At about 7:15 p.m. last night, a call came into the National Park Service (NPS) dispatch center reporting a possible drowning. A 16-year-old Hispanic male from North Las Vegas died while swimming in the Government Wash area on the Nevada side of Lake Mead.
Park Rangers were told the victim and a friend were swimming out to an island. His friend began having difficulty and called for help. Two additional young men in their party swam out to help the friend in trouble. While they reached the friend safely, the victim began to have trouble and went under the water and did not resurface
Park rangers searched the area last night for several hours and were not able to recover the victim. The NPS dive team is attempting to recover his body this morning.
Rangers want to remind all park visitors that the lake is not a backyard swimming pool. When swimming in a pool and you become tired or distressed, you can grab onto the side. You have nothing to grab onto while swimming in the lake. We have had many drowning over the years because swimmers misjudge the distance to an island or overestimate their swimming ability. Rangers are once again reminding all visitors to wear life jackets while at Lake Mead National Recreation Area.
This is the sixth fatality, (second drowning) at Lake Mead National Recreation Area this year. At this same time in 2005, the NPS reported five fatalities had occurred during the same period (January – May 14) that year. Of those, one of the fatalities was a drowning. In 2005, there was a total of 25 fatalities (six drownings).
Lake Mead National Recreation Area is a unit of the National Park Service.