Medical episode possible cause of apparent drowning at Sand Hollow

SAND HOLLOW STATE PARK — A 71-year-old man was pronounced dead following an apparent drowning Wednesday at Sand Hollow reservoir.

While details surrounding the incident are still being pieced together by authorities, Utah State Parks Ranger Stephen Studebaker said the man appears to have been on a dock when he experienced a medical episode and fell into the water.

A 71-year-old man died after falling into the water at Sand Hollow State Park, Utah, June 13, 2018 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

“The individual was pulled from the water unresponsive,” Studebaker said. “Life-saving operations were unsuccessful and unfortunately he has passed away.”

The incident occurred around 5 p.m. and drew the response of park rangers and an ambulance crew from Hurricane Valley Fire and Rescue. Intermountain Life Flight was also called in and touched down at the reservoir.

The man’s body remained on the dock with a white sheet placed over it as authorities investigated the scene. Eventually the entry to the dock, one of two that reach out into the water on either side of the reservoir’s main boat ramp, was taped off.

The man’s name is not being released at this time as park officials continue the investigation and work to contact his family.

The park is typically a safe place thanks to safe practices like wearing life jackets, Studebaker said, though added some circumstances, like existing medical issues, just aren’t preventable.

The last reported drowning at Sand Hollow was in September 2016. A man from Toole, Utah, attempted to swim to the island in the middle of the reservoir and drowned. Friends called for help and were answered by search and rescue teams holding mock training at the state park that day.

Read more: Statewide search and rescue training turns into real-life rescue | State Parks officials identify man who drowned at Sand Hollow

The man was pulled from the water and taken to the hospital where he was taken off of life support the following day.

This report is based on statements from police or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

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Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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