ST. GEORGE — A 33-year-old woman died at Lake Powell Tuesday while rescuing her 2-year-old son who had fallen overboard from a houseboat into the lake.
The woman was boating near Halls Crossing when her child fell overboard and she jumped in to rescue him, according to a statement issued by the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
The mother was able to hold her son out of the water long enough for her brother to launch a “runabout” boat from the houseboat and grab the boy from her, according to the statement. The woman was then pulled from the water but was unresponsive.
CPR was initiated, and emergency responders were notified by way of marine band radio, officials said. National park rangers arrived at the scene and continued resuscitation efforts.
However, CPR efforts proved unsuccessful, and the woman was pronounced dead. The woman is presumed to have drowned, but the official cause of death is pending the coroner’s confirmation.
The 2-year-old child was flown to Flagstaff Medical Center in Arizona in stable condition for a precautionary medical evaluation.
“There are no words to convey the tragedy of losing a loved one like this,” said Teri Tucker, acting superintendent for Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. “Our hearts are with the family and friends of the victims during this time of unexpected pain and loss.”
The woman’s identity was not immediately released pending notification of next of kin.
The incident marked the sixth fatality in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area this year.
“A common denominator in more than 120 fatalities at Lake Powell in the last decades is that victims were not wearing life jackets,” said Meri Sias, acting chief ranger at the recreation area. “While life jackets are required for children 12 years of age and under, all boaters on Lake Powell are encouraged to wear life jackets.”
The incident is being investigated by the National Park Service, San Juan County Sheriff’s Office and Utah State Parks.
This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.
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