A Salt Lake County man drowned Sunday in Deer Creek State Park, according to Utah State Parks.
Jose Antonio Fuentes-Alvarez, 24, was swimming at about 2 p.m. Sunday in the Rainbow Bay area of the park, about 10 miles southwest of Heber City in Wasatch County, the parks department reported. Members of his group saw he was struggling to keep his head above the water.
Three members of the group tried to swim out to assist Fuentes-Alvarez, but were unsuccessful. Others on shore called 911 for help. A Utah State Parks law enforcement ranger, a park camp host and a Utah Highway Patrol trooper aided the group members back to shore.
Search efforts for Fuentes-Alvarez started immediately. Utah State Parks staff, and search and rescue crews from Wasatch and Summit county, responded to the call.
At about 10 p.m. Sunday, members of the parks department’s ROV team, using a remote-controlled vehicle, found Fuentes-Alvarez’s body about 80 feet from shore, at a depth of 16 feet. Divers from Wasatch County recovered his body shortly after that. He was not wearing a life jacket.
In its statement, Utah State Parks cautioned people that lakes, rivers and reservoirs “are much different than swimming pools or other controlled environments. … Distances on the water may appear deceiving; and waves, depths and water temperature can change quickly and dramatically.” Parks officials advise swimmers to “wear a life jacket, swim with a buddy, and remember that alcohol and water recreation do not mix.”