Man goes to hospital following possible near-drowning at Quail Creek State Park

In this June 15, 2015, file photo responders and divers search for the body of a drowned man at Quail Creek reservoir, Hurricane, Utah | Photo by Jessica Tempfer, St. George News

HURRICANE — An 18-year-old St. George man went to the hospital Monday afternoon after a possible near-drowning at Quail Creek State Park.

Quail Creek reservoir as seen from an outlook at its northern end, Quail Creek State Park, Utah, May 1, 2019 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Quail Creek State Park Manager Candace Smith told St. George News that at around 3 p.m., a man with some friends had headed out onto the reservoir on some flotation devices.

“The male had said he could swim before they went out but then went off the tube or the flotation device and really couldn’t swim,” she said. “Then he couldn’t feel his legs, so that became an issue in regards to keeping his head above water.”

The man bobbed in and out of the water multiple times trying to get air and trying to get back up out of the water.

A person standing on the beach saw the commotion and called 911 to report a possible drowning.

“There was another person nearby that was able to help him make it back to shore,” she said. “He never drowned. He never went unconscious. He never stopped breathing.”

Along the shoreline at Quail Creek State Park, Utah, May 1, 2019 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

A nurse on shore checked the man’s vitals before he and his friends left the scene. The nurse said his pulse was sporadic, Smith said.

Hurricane City Police, Hurricane Fire and Ambulance, and the Utah Department of Natural Resources arrived on scene but couldn’t find the man.

“We’re at the park looking for people, and no one is here at the lake,” Smith said. “So we were surprised to find them farther down away from the water.”

The man and his friends were found driving on the road between the water treatment plant and SR-9.

When medical responders checked him out, they said he was doing fine, and he said he was doing fine but wanted to self-transport to the hospital.

“He definitely didn’t know how to swim. More of a reason why people should always wear life jackets,” Smith said. “It saves lives. No reason to push the limits. Even if you do know how to swim, just wear a life jacket, especially if you can’t touch the bottom — then you definitely need to be wearing a life jacket.”

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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