A Utah man dies while swimming at Deer Creek State Park

Jun 29, 2020, 5:02 PM | Updated: May 23, 2021, 5:27 pm
Bear Creek State Park...
Bear Creek State Park in Utah. Credit: Utah State Parks

WALLSBURG, Utah– A 24-year-old man from Utah died while swimming at Deer Creek State Park on Sunday.

According to a statement from Utah State Parks, around 2 p.m. Jose Antonio Fuentes-Alvarez from Salt Lake County was swimming in the Rainbow Bay area at Deer Creek State Park. While he was swimming, those with Fuentes-Alvarez’s group noticed him struggling to keep his head above water. 

Three people from the group attempted to swim out and help Fuentes-Alvarez while others stayed onshore and contacted 9-1-1. The friends were unable to save Fuentes-Alvarez. 

A Utah State Parks Law Enforcement Ranger, a Deer Creek State Park camp host and a Utah Highway Patrol trooper responded to the scene. They were able to help those who sawm out to save Fuentes-Alvarez safely return to shore. 

Utah State Parks staff, Wasatch County Search and Rescue, and Summit County Search and Rescue also responded to the area to assist in the search for Fuentes-Alvarez. Around 10 p.m. Utah State Parks ROV team discovered Fuentes-Alvarez’s body using their remotely operated vehicle. 

Fuentes-Alvarez’s body was found about 16 feet underwater and 80 yards away from the shore. Authorities say he was not wearing a life jacket.

Utah State Parks advised those swimming in natural bodies of water to take precautions. “These water bodies are much different than swimming pools or other controlled environments. Distances on the water may appear deceiving; and waves, depth, and water temperature can change quickly and dramatically,” stated officials. 

Wear a life jacket, always swim with a buddy, and remember that alcohol and water recreation do not mix.”  


Related reading:

Springville man drowns at Yuba Lake, body recovered

Parks and Rec officials hope PSA convinces people to wear life jackets

Don’t get in the water: Melting snow creates strong rivers

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A Utah man dies while swimming at Deer Creek State Park