Russian man drowns at Lake Powell; others injured in same incident

Boat ramp at Wahweap Marina, Lake Powell, Ariz., August 2017 | File photo courtesy of Lin Floyd, St. George News

PAGE, Ariz. – A 20-year-old visitor from Russia drowned Monday afternoon at Lake Powell, authorities said, noting that multiple other individuals were injured during the incident.

According to a news release issued Wednesday by the National Park Service, at approximately 2:19 p.m. Monday, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Dispatch received a 911 call reporting a vessel coming into the Wahweap Marina with a male drowning victim on board.

National Park Service rangers and a Coconino County Sheriff’s deputy responded, arriving at the Wahweap Boat Tours dock at 2:23 p.m., where they found CPR in progress on a 20-year-old male from St. Petersburg, Russia, later identified as Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Kurganov. (see Ed. note)

Attempts to resuscitate Kurganov were unsuccessful, however, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Rangers determined the scope of the incident was larger, including a male and a female with propeller cuts to their legs, three near-drowning victims and one distraught male. All were part of a group of approximately 29 young adult foreign nationals that had rented three pontoon boats from Wahweap, authorities said.

While the boats were in Wahweap Bay near the Castle Rock Cut, a large number of the group jumped into the water to swim without life jackets or personal flotation devices.

“Winds picked up and several of the swimmers began having difficulty,” the news release stated. “Boat operators in the group were able to pick many of the swimmers out of the water, some of whom were near total exhaustion. Some of the swimmers were able to get to shore after a five- to ten-minute swim.”

Kurganov was recovered by a member of his party in approximately 9 feet of water. The two people who sustained propeller cuts were reportedly injured while bringing him on board one of the boats.

Page Fire Department and Classic Air Medical responded to assist the additional injured victims, with Aramark employees providing responders with on-scene logistics.

The female propeller cut victim was transported by a Classic Air helicopter to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George. The distraught male and the male propeller-cut victim were both transported to Page Banner Hospital by the park service. The three who nearly drowned refused medical transport.

Kurganov’s body was released to the Coconino County Coroner for autopsy.

The case is still under investigation by the National Park Service, Coconino County Sheriff’s Office and Utah State Parks.

Ed. note: This article has been updated with a clarification on the deceased’s name from the National Park Service.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.


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1 Comment

  • Carpe Diem August 29, 2018 at 5:09 pm

    Oh dang… what a mess.

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