Man drowns trying to rescue dog in Ice Cream Canyon at Lake Powell

PAGE, Ariz. — A man reportedly drowned in Lake Powell Thursday afternoon after jumping in the water to save his dog. 

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area dispatch received reports of a possible drowning in Ice Cream Canyon around 4:30 p.m. National Park Service rangers were dispatched to the scene, along with responders from Classic Air Medical. 

The man, identified as 62-year-old David John, was visiting the area from Greenville, Texas, with his wife. The couple had rented a houseboat and taken it into Ice Cream Canyon, located in Lake Powell across from Lone Rock Beach in the Wahweap District of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, when the incident occurred. 

The houseboat detached from its anchor and drifted away from the beach with both occupants inside. 

“His anchor had become loose, and so he was attempting to retrieve the houseboat. It had floated in toward the center of the cove,” park spokesperson Mary Plumb said. 

Witnesses on another houseboat told responders that John appeared fatigued during the couple’s attempts to bring the vessel back to shore, Kane County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Alan Alldredge said.

Lake Powell
Lake Powell in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, date not specified | Photo courtesy of the National Park Service, St. George News

As they were working, their dog jumped off the boat. John jumped into the water in an attempt to save the dog, and both of them disappeared under the water. 

A witness from a nearby houseboat noticed the situation and kayaked over to assist. They were able to retrieve John and bring him to shore where they began administering CPR.

The dog survived, but John was later pronounced dead at the scene. 

“There’s still a lot of unanswered questions for us right now until we get something back from the medical examiner, see if they can determine what happened that caused him to go down,” Alldredge said. 

The incident is under investigation by the Kane County Sheriff’s Office, the National Park Service and the Kane County Medical Investigator. 

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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