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Fox News
Fox News
5 Aug 2023


Officials are urging visitors to remain cautious following two drownings at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. 

The National Park Service said Friday that the fatalities occurred over the past weekend. 

The fatalities bring the total number of deaths this year in the area – Lake Mead sits at the Nevada-Arizona border – to 19.

"Two more people drowned at Lake Mead NRA – that’s 19 fatalities this year, a sad trend we want to change," Acting Superintendent Mike Gauthier said in a release. "We are still seeing multiple incidents and accidents, both on the land and on the water."

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Tourists pose for photos at a sign for the Lake Mead National Recreation Area

People take photos in front of a sign welcoming visitors to the Lake Mead National Recreation Area on July 1, 2022, in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada.  (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

There were also several close calls with boaters being caught off-guard as monsoon winds swept through the area unexpectedly, creating hazardous conditions on the water. 

There were also noted ongoing instances were swimmers with pool toys and paddleboards were blown from designated swimming areas out into the lake by the strong winds.

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A boater at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area

A boat cruises in front of mineral-stained rocks in The Narrows upstream of the Hoover Dam on July 28, 2022, in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada.  (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Authorities point out that lifejackets save lives and that pool toys are "prohibited and dangerous" when the wind carries swimmers away or when they pop or deflate. 

The release pointed out officials see unsafe boating practices there every day, including drinking and driving and heat-related illness. 

It’s also monsoon season, which means unpredictable rainy and windy weather conditions with little-to-no warning. 

Recreationists at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area

A visitor rides a personal watercraft as people swim near their boat in Boulder Basin on July 28, 2022, in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada.  (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

 

"We want all of our visitors to have a rewarding, positive experience at Lake Mead [National Recreation Area]," said Gauthier, "and we really want everyone to make it home safely."

Lake Mead has seen its water level drop over the past year as the Colorado River reservoir behind Hoover Dam recedes because of drought and climate change.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Julia Musto is a reporter for Fox News and Fox Business Digital.