21-year-old drowns while swimming near Big Bend

Stock photo courtesy of Grand County Sheriff's Office, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A 21-year-old California man is presumed to have died Monday in a drowning accident in the Colorado River. Officials were still searching the river for the man’s body Tuesday.

At approximately 6 p.m. Monday, Grand County dispatch was advised of a possible drowning near the Big Bend Campground, approximately 7 miles upstream from Moab, the Grand County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Tuesday.

A screenshot of the Moab Daily Map showing the area of Big Bend on the Colorado River in Utah | Photo courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management, St. George News
A screenshot of the Moab Daily Map showing the area of Big Bend where a 21-year-old man is presumed to have died in a drowning accident on the Colorado River in Utah | Photo courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management, St. George News

The 21-year-old had been swimming in the area of Big Bend and was not wearing a life jacket, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

“(He) had just swam through an area of white water and was in calmer water when he went underwater,” officials said, adding that the man was estimated to have been approximately 20 feet from the bank.

According to officials, the water temperature at the time of the incident was 74 degrees.

Sheriff’s Office officials and members of the Grand County Search and Rescue team responded to the area. Classic Lifeguard Helicopter and a Sheriff’s Office drone were flown over the area to assist in the search for the man.

Lights and spotters were set up on the river to monitor the waters overnight, officials said. However, by Tuesday morning, the man had not been located.

The search is expected to continue Tuesday with Grand County Search and Rescue and Park Service boats in the river.

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

Email: kscott@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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13 Comments

  • Bender August 23, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    St George News, you’ve got your Big Bends confused. Drowning was on Colorado River near Moab, Utah. Image at top of story is near Laughlin, Nevada. Eight hour drive between them. There goes another Pulitzer down the toilet.

    • Joyce Kuzmanic Joyce Kuzmanic August 24, 2016 at 6:41 am

      Oh dear. It will be replaced.
      Humbly,
      ST. GEORGE NEWS
      Joyce Kuzmanic
      Editor in Chief

  • Chris August 23, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    Having been to the Big Bend Campground, I can assure you that the picture is not correct.

    • Joyce Kuzmanic Joyce Kuzmanic August 24, 2016 at 6:42 am

      Oh dear. See my reply to Bender.
      Thank you, Chris.
      ST. GEORGE NEWS
      Joyce Kuzmanic
      Editor in Chief

  • Chris August 23, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    The picture appears to be Big Bend state park near Laughlin, NV, not the campground near Moab.

  • .... August 24, 2016 at 6:49 am

    I don’t care about the picture. my concern is with the missing individual. it doesn’t look good I’m hoping for the best but not expecting it. find him soon so the family can do what needs to be done. My condolences of course

  • Bender August 24, 2016 at 10:41 am

    No banana for you St. George News. New image is also of Big Bend Nevada. Pro Tip: if the water is blue it’s not the Colorado River near Moab. Yer gunna wanna see red water and red cliffs.

    • Joyce Kuzmanic Joyce Kuzmanic August 25, 2016 at 11:14 am

      Bender, I have double-checked. This image is correct. Thank you, though.
      Joyce
      EIC

      • Bender August 25, 2016 at 12:09 pm

        Check again because you’re wrong:
        http://parks.nv.gov/parks/big-bend-of-the-colorado-state-recreation-area/

        • Joyce Kuzmanic Joyce Kuzmanic August 29, 2016 at 6:53 am

          Despite some internal debate as the sources our designer accessed were misleading, it does appear clear to me we were wrong and you are right, Bender. I have eliminated the image in question and appreciate your perseverence … always. I do, very much so.
          Thank you,
          ST. GEORGE NEWS
          Joyce Kuzmanic
          Editor in Chief

      • 42214 August 26, 2016 at 12:03 am

        Joyce, you should be Hillary’s press secretary. She doesn’t care about accuracy either.

    • .... August 25, 2016 at 5:27 pm

      No Banana for you Bender ! HA HA

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