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One dead, more than a dozen rescued at Lake Mead

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Updated: 7/01/2013 5:03 pm
BOULDER CITY, Nev. – An adult male died of unknown causes, five people were treated for heat-related illness and more than a dozen people were rescued in separate incidents at Lake Mead National Recreation Area over the weekend.

Preventative safety measures

Temperatures at Lake Mead National Recreation Area hit record-setting levels June 29-30, reaching as high as 120 degrees at Lake Mohave. Park officials implemented a variety of preventative measures to keep visitors and employees safe during the excessive heat warning.

Rangers educated visitors about the heat at the entrance stations and the visitor center. Park rangers were also stationed at the White Rock Canyon Trailhead June 28-30 to inform visitors about the dangers of hiking in extreme heat. Rangers made contact with eight hikers, all of whom either decided not to hike or hiked early and returned.

“Saturday, all of the contacts were with hikers coming off the trail,” said Christie Vanover, park spokesperson. “One of the groups did appear to be suffering heat exhaustion symptoms, but refused medical attention. They said they realized they probably shouldn’t have been hiking in the heat.”

Park rangers are scheduled to monitor the trailhead again July 5-7.

Adult male found dead

Around 4:30 p.m. June 30, a visitor notified a park ranger that they saw an adult male wandering in the desert near Placer Cove Road. Four park rangers and four members of the wildland fire crew searched the area with the assistance of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Search and Rescue. Just after 8 p.m., officials located the deceased man 30 feet down a ridge near Nelson Road.

The Clark County Medical Examiner will determine cause of death and confirm his identity after next of kin have been notified.

Other incidents:

In separate incidents over the weekend, five people were provided emergency medical services for heat related symptoms and more than a dozen people were safely rescued by park rangers, partner agencies and bystanders.

Near drowning at Government Wash

June 29, witnesses said an 18-year-old Las Vegas man was rescued by fellow day-users after he tried to swim from Government Wash to an island without a lifejacket. Two individuals saw him and used a personal watercraft to reach him.

When they arrived, they said only his hand was sticking out of the water. They retrieved him from the water and brought him to safety. He was provided medical care on scene and was transported to a local hospital.

Following the incident, Lake Mead NRA park rangers visited groups throughout Government Wash and provided educational training about the importance of lifejacket use.

Possible carbon monoxide exposure

At 8:39 a.m. June 30, the Lake Mead National Recreation Area Interagency Communication Center received a marine band radio call, stating that several people on board a houseboat near Temple Bar were suffering from possible carbon monoxide poisoning.

Members of the National Park Service, Lake Mohave Ranchos Fire District and River Medical American Medical Response arrived on scene and assessed the medical condition of the 12 people. Five were med-flighted to area hospitals by Mercy Air and Care Flight, four were transported to area hospitals by ambulance and the remaining three were treated on scene and released.

Vessel fire near Boulder Islands

At 12:23 p.m. June 30, the Lake Mead National Recreation Area Interagency Communication Center received multiple reports stating that a vessel was on fire on the north side of the Boulder Islands on Lake Mead.

The Nevada Department of Wildlife and Henderson Fire Department responded to the scene with park rangers. A bystander boat rescued the two individuals on board without injury. The fire was extinguished. Crews are working to retrieve the sunken vessel from the lake.

Excessive Heat Warning Continues

The National Weather Service has extended the Excessive Heat Warning until 11 p.m. July 4. Highs are again forecast to exceed 110 degrees.

“We want all of our visitors to have a safe, festive Fourth of July,” said Vanover. “Use a buddy system to monitor each other, drink plenty of water and wear your lifejacket. Also keep an eye on children, the elderly and people with chronic ailments because they are the most susceptible to heat-related illness.”

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