Authorities release name of Sand Hollow drowning victim

SAND HOLLOW STATE PARK — Authorities have released the name of a Sand Hollow State Park drowning victim who died Wednesday evening while attempting to swim to the shoreline.

Authorities remove the body of a 26-year-old drowning victim at Sand Hollow State Park, Hurricane, Utah, July 22, 2015 | Photo by Kimberly Scott, St. George News
Authorities remove the body of a 26-year-old drowning victim at Sand Hollow State Park, Hurricane, Utah, July 22, 2015 | Photo by Kimberly Scott, St. George News

The 26-year-old Colorado City, Arizona, man who was pulled from the waters of Sand Hollow Reservoir in Hurricane has been identified as Hyrum S. Cooke.

Cooke and a group of friends were boating when Cooke decided to jump out of the boat, which was stationary on the northwest corner of the reservoir at the time, and swim to the shore.

Around 20 minutes had passed and the group realized they hadn’t seen Cooke for a while, and began searching for him.

About 20 minutes later, Cooke was found about 10 feet below the surface of the reservoir. He was unresponsive as his friends pulled him into the boat.


Read more: Friends explain how 26-year-old man drowns at Sand Hollow


A registered nurse assisted the friends in performing CPR until a park ranger and Hurricane Valley Fire and Ambulance arrived, however, resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful and Cooke was confirmed dead by emergency responders at the scene.

drowning, sand hallow state park,
Four friends gaze out at the water following the drowning death of their friend, whose body lays covered in a sheet behind them, Sand Hollow State Park, Hurricane, Utah, July 22, 2015 | Photo by Devan Chavez, St. George News

“He was one of the most decent people you’ll ever meet,” one of Cooke’s friends who worked to save his life said.

Sand Hollow State Park Manager Laura Melling said there is no indication that any of the individuals in the group were impaired at the time.

“Sometimes tragedies happen even when you do everything right,” she said. “Always let somebody know where you go, don’t swim beyond your abilities and I can never stress enough, wear a life vest. If you’ve got a life vest on and you get in trouble, you will float.”

Cooke was not wearing a life vest.

Melling said this was the first accident at Sand Hollow in the last five years, adding that the last incident occurred on the sand rather than in the water.

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Email: kscott@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

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