Local News


Lake Mead rangers train ahead of spring break

Posted at 6:54 PM, Mar 27, 2019

LAKE MEAD (KTNV) — Families in Las Vegas will soon be heading to Lake Mead to enjoy the warming weather during spring break.

And safety is a top priority for rangers patrolling the area, especially since the lake is ranked as one of the deadliest national parks in the U.S.

Wednesday, several rangers went through a motorboat operator training course.

The training was offered to park rangers in Nevada and to those across the country.

Ranger Jody Sanders told 13 Action News that going out to the lake doesn’t always end well for some.

"Alcohol and boating do not go hand-in-hand," he said.

As Sanders also said he has seen too many incidents that could've been avoided.

Mark Hnat, deputy chief ranger, is one of the people in charge of the five-day training course at Lake Mead.

"We go through emergency procedures, we talk about parts of the boat, how to operate a boat, how to trailer your boat, and how to safely operate it while in the water," Hnat said.

Rangers said their priority is others safety, but many park visitors also need to do their part.

"It's also important you get proper safety equipment on your boat especially life jackets," said Hnat.

Children 12 and younger are required to wear a life jacket.

Back in Sept. 2018, the Nevada Department of Wildlife and park rangers recovered a man's body - he was not wearing a life vest and drowned.

On average, 25 people die at Lake Mead each year, and more than 270 have lost their lives within the last decade, according to park officials.