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Contact: Zach Behrens, 559-565-3131
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Calif. -- On Saturday, September 17, 2016, at 3:08 p.m., park dispatchers were notified that a satellite SOS device had been activated at Eagle Lake within Sequoia National Park. The SOS message indicated an apparent drowning in the lake, which is located at approximately 10,000 feet elevation near the Mineral King area in the southern portion of the park.
Three Rangers responded up the 3.5-mile, 2500-foot elevation gain trail to Eagle Lake from Mineral King and a reconnaissance helicopter flight was deployed.
The team of three rangers made contact with a group, which confirmed that one of their group members, a 19-year-old male from San Jose, CA, had possibly drowned in the lake. The group was made up of San Jose State University students and staff, who were on a school outing.
Rescuers were unable to locate the subject that night. The operation was scheduled to continue the next morning. The body was recovered on Sunday, September 18, 2016, by rangers in snorkel gear. The body was flown to the helibase and transferred to the Tulare County Coroner's Office.
A total of 16 park staff assisted with the search and recovery operations. The incident is under investigation.