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August 1, 2014

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1 killed, 15 rescued in single day at Lake Mead recreation area

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Leila Navidi

Lake Mead National Recreation Area seen from Boulder City on Tuesday, August 13, 2013.

Map of Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Lake Mead National Recreation Area

601 Nevada Way, Boulder City

One person died and 15 people were rescued in a series of unrelated emergencies on a chaotic Sunday in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

Throughout the day, park rangers responded to near drownings, car crashes, stalled vehicles and medical emergencies across the recreation area, said park spokeswoman Christie Vanover.

At 3 p.m., a 30-year-old man from Mexico City, Mexico, died after crashing his vehicle on Northshore Road. Park rangers and the Nevada Highway Patrol investigated the wreck and determined that the man had been speeding and was not wearing a seatbelt, Vanover said.

Earlier in the afternoon, a 5-year-old girl was saved from drowning at Special Events Beach. She had been playing on a kneeboard without a life jacket when the wind carried her 200 yards from shore and knocked her off her board, officials said.

A ranger grabbed her just as she went under the water, Vanover said. She was transported to a nearby hospital in fair condition, she said.

A 12-year-old boy, meanwhile, was saved from drowning at Cotonwood East in Arizona’s Lake Mohave, Vanover said. Bystanders provided life-saving care and transported the boy to a hospital in Kingman, Ariz., before he was flown to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center.

He is in critical condition, Vanover said.

In yet another incident, a 23-year-old hiker was rescued late Sunday evening from the Gold Strike Canyon Trail.

At about 8 p.m., National Park Service and Bureau of Reclamation officials reached the man about 1.4 miles from the trailhead, Vanover said.

Metro Police Search and Rescue officers arrived and treated him on the scene before transporting him to a nearby hospital.

Officials did not detail the other rescues.

Officials encourage visitors to heed the following safety tips:

• Always wear a life jacket while swimming in the lake.

• Do not use pool toys in the lake, because they can be blown away.

• When boating, ensure someone is always on the vessel who knows how to operate it.

• Check the weather, as 20 mph wind gusts can make boating and swimming dangerous.

• Plan for extra food, fuel and water on boats in case of emergencies.

• Hiking is not recommended from June through September because of excessive heat.

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