Fisherman dies after apparent drowning at Southern Utah reservoir

Stock image, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A man who was fishing at a small lake in Washington County died after falling into the water Friday afternoon.

Dammeron Valley Fire and Rescue crews responded to the incident at Lower Sand Cover Reservoir near Gunlock at approximately 3:38 p.m.

The location of Lower Sand Cover Reservoir in Washington County indicated by a red pin | Image courtesy of Google Maps, St. George News

The man, not yet identified by authorities, was visiting the area from his northern Utah home for a fishing trip. Responders said he appeared to be in his 60s, Dammeron Valley Fire Chief Kevin Dye said.

At the time of the incident, he was on the lake in an inflatable fishing boat.

According to witnesses, he began suffering from a medical episode, Dye said.

“Unknown at this time whether the original medical incident was heart-related or seizure-related as suggested by some of the people seeing it happening,” Dye said.

He then fell out of the boat and went beneath the water.

When responders arrived, they pulled the man out of the water and began performing CPR. A medical crew from Intermountain Life Flight was also called in for assistance.

“By the time we worked him and got what we could going for him, he was already showing too many other obvious signs of fatality,” Dye said. “Life Flight arrived but there wasn’t anything they could do, either.”

The patient died at the scene.

He had been wearing a life vest, Dye said, but it was only half on at the time of the incident.

“We don’t know if he had it on and it came off or if he knew he was having a problem and trying to get it on, but it wasn’t properly secured.”

Gold Cross Ambulance and Washington County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue crews also responded to the incident.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

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