Deputies urging Utahns to be prepared after two near drownings on Pineview Reservoir

Jun 16, 2022, 7:47 PM

WEBER COUNTY, Utah — Deputies with the Weber County Sheriff’s Office are reminding Utahns to be prepared after two near drownings on Pineview Reservoir this week. In both cases, the victims were not wearing life jackets and were unprepared for the weather conditions.

The first close call happened Sunday evening when a boy on a floatation device was swept across the lake.

“High winds kicked up and we had a young boy on an inner tube and he got blown out with no life jacket. At first, mom reported that she couldn’t find him, so you’ve got a search for him, hoping he’s not in trouble. But it blew him all across the lake before they found him,” said Lt. Mark Horton from the Weber County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team.

The second rescue was performed Tuesday around 10 p.m. when a woman on a paddleboard went into the water. Emergency crews were dispatched to the North Arm Trailhead.

“The storm was bad enough that the deputies were soaked when they got there. They were able to pull her into the boat, and rescue personnel said even a few more minutes and she wouldn’t have made it.”

Horton said the woman was clinging to her paddleboard for 10-15 minutes, and in that time, suffered mild hypothermia. He said she was wearing jeans, shoes, and a down jacket, which weighed her down in the water.

Woman treated for mild hypothermia after falling into Pineview Reservoir

“That’s a long time; she’s lucky she was able to hold on. We’re very fortunate.”

In 2021, four people drowned in Pineview Reservoir.

Horton worries that if Utahns don’t start wearing life jackets, we could see another record number of deaths on the reservoir in 2022.

“Last year was a record number for us — we had four drownings, and every one of them could have been prevented by a life jacket. Some of them were shallow, the water wasn’t very deep; some of the people weren’t good swimmers. They didn’t have life jackets and it cost them their life.”

Horton said along with U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets, everyone visiting Pineview Reservoir needs to pay extra attention to the weather. He said those using the reservoir need to be checking the forecast often and be mindful that the winds pick up between 1 and 5 p.m.

“We’re constantly checking the weather — we check it in the morning, throughout the day, in the evening before we go home. You’ve got to understand that if there are 400 boats on Pineview and a storm comes in all of a sudden, then we have 400 boats trying to use three boat ramps.”

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Deputies urging Utahns to be prepared after two near drownings on Pineview Reservoir