Las Vegas man, 18, drowns at Sand Hollow

May 4, 2024, 8:01 PM | Updated: May 6, 2024, 3:59 pm

The shoreline and mountains of Sand Hollow State Park are pictured....

FILE: The shoreline and mountains of Sand Hollow State Park are pictured.An 18-year-old male drowned at Sand Hollow Saturday afternoon. Park officials are encouraging everyone to wear a life vest. (Sand Hollow State Park)

(Sand Hollow State Park)

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Utah — An 18-year-old man drowned at Sand Hollow on Saturday afternoon.

Candace Smith, a Sand Hollow park manager, said the man was from Las Vegas. He was swimming in the reservoir with three others.

According to Smith, the group was swimming in the “dive park” area of Sand Hollow. She said this is a popular place for swimming, but not the first drowning in the area.

Smith said it’s common for swimmers in this area to attempt to swim out to an island.

“They think it’s a shorter distance than it really is,” she said. “A combination of being tired and the wind with the waves, it’s easy to, unfortunately, go under and just not resurface.”

To try to keep swimmers safe, the park installed a swimming platform in the water for them to take breaks while swimming to the island.

“It’s a reoccurring situation. We seem to see where swimmers try to make it to the island, and they can’t do it,” Smith said. “That swimming platform has been a savior to a lot of individuals. But it’s unfortunate, some people just still can’t make it.”

Authorities received a call about the drowning at 2:20 p.m. after the Las Vegas man did not resurface. His body was recovered at 4:20 p.m., 19 feet under the surface.

Smith encourages anyone swimming in Sand Hollow to wear a life vest.

“There is an actual law that states you’re required, if you’re on a vessel, even if it’s not motorized — you’re required to have a life jacket onboard,” she said. “There’s a reason why that law is out there … Life jackets save lives … We really would love to see more people, if not everybody, wearing a life jacket.”

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Las Vegas man, 18, drowns at Sand Hollow