Drownings continue to rise at Lakes Mead, Mohave

LAS VEGAS - Rescue crews are still searching for a swimmer who was last seen near the Hoover Dam on Lake Mead over the weekend.

So far, there have been times as many drownings this year compared to last year.

The National Park Service was searching the shorelines Friday morning looking for the body. They say the man who was rescued and the man who likely drowned were not wearing  life vests.

"It's just unfortunate, there's a lot of stupidity out here," said Jeff Smith.

Jeff and Marjorie Smith are spending their second day on Lake Mead fishing for stripers and channel catfish. Their boat is stocked with gear, including life vests.

The couple knows the dangers that can come with drowning

"Especially when it's children. It's just so sad cause it's all preventable. You know 99 percent of drownings were all preventable," Jeff Smith said.

Especially this year.

Sunday, two men were struggling to swim from a boat near the Hoover Dam in deep water.

"It seems like every weekend," Jeff Smith said.

Park service volunteers pulled one man out of the water. On Monday, the search continued for the body of the second swimmer.

Another teen died from possible drowning on Lake Mohave two weekends prior.

"People will take off the shore and they think they're great swimmers but then they get out there, they don't realize how far off shore they really are and then they can't make it back," Jeff Smith said.

So far this year, there have been 10 drownings which is a huge spike from last year when there were three between Lake Mead and Mohave. This year also marks the highest number of possible drownings since 2014.

"The importance is a lot of these shouldn't happen," said Nick Duhe, Nevada Department of Wildlife.

According to him, there's only one thing that'll almost always prevent drowning.

"There's nothing you can do to do better. You can't swim any stronger, you can't have more stomping. None of that's going to help you as much as a life jacket will," he said. "We want people to come to the lake, enjoy the lake, recreate here and then come back to the lake."

The park service said, in the past decade every drowning that has occurred has been because someone wasn't wearing a a life jacket or wearing it properly.

As a side note, children 12 and under are required to wear a life vest when out on the water. 

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