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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.

Last updated: February 28, 2015

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