A 38-year-old man from California is dead after a thunderstorm at Lake Mohave on Saturday.
According to the National Park Service, the Lake Mead Interagency Communication Center received a radio distress call about a drowning around 7:31 p.m.
The victim was reportedly trying to help a neighboring houseboat that broke from the shore during the storm. He became entangled in one of the spike lines. As the houseboat drifted, the victim was pulled under the water. He was not wearing a life jacket.
NPS rangers responded by land and water but were unable to resuscitate the man.
The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Lake Mohave between 7-7:45 p.m. on Saturday. At the time of the incident, wind speeds were up to 40-50 miles per hour.
The Clark County Medical Examiner will identify the victim and determine the exact cause of death. The incident is under investigation.
Thunderstorms with lightning and strong winds are possible across the Lake Mead National Recreation Area through Sunday, so the NPS offered the following safety tips:
- Check the forecast before hitting the water. Sunny mornings may turn into dangerous afternoons, especially during monsoon season.
- Have a way to communicate. Cell phone reception is limited. Tune your marine band radio to channel 16 or 22A.
- Take a GPS on the water, so if you get stranded, you can tell emergency crews where you are.
- If you see a storm approaching, head to a sheltered cove or inlet. It’s easier to escape a storm before it hits. Boat ramps become crowded after the storm arrives.
- Get all swimmers and skiers out of the water.
- Strong winds create large waves. When waves get choppy while boating, have everyone on board put on a life jacket.
- If your boat becomes disabled during a storm, throw an anchor or empty bucket attached by a line into the water to slow drifting.
- Secure loose items under seats, in storage areas or in the center of the boat.
- Be prepared to spend the night on your boat or on shore, by packing extra food, water, and blankets.
- Let someone know where you are going and when you will return.