Two Utah children drowned in separate incidents at Lake Powell last week.
A Payson boy drowned Thursday in the lake's Rock Creek Bay area after being overcome by carbon monoxide from a houseboat's gasoline-powered electricity generator. The next day, a 3-year-old Salt Lake girl was found face down in the water near her family's campsite.Kane County Sheriff Max Jackson said Michael Donald Walker Jr., 13, Payson, drowned at Rock Creek Bay while swimming with a friend in a small space underneath the houseboat created by the pontoons.
He said the boys were in the small area for three minutes. In that short time, carbon monoxide fumes emitted from the generator poisoned the boy's air supply.
Both boys managed to climb back aboard the houseboat before passing out. Walker then slipped back into the water unnoticed.
Jackson said the boy's father, Michael D. Walker Sr., dove into the water with a snorkle several times to find the boy. His body was found by park rangers about two hours later in 20 feet of water directly below the back deck of the houseboat.
"This is the first incident like this in the eight years I have been sheriff," Jackson said. "What is also interesting about this case is that the coroners said the carbon monoxide level in the blood was fatal in itself. It just led to the drowning."
In the other fatality, a Salt Lake toddler apparently wandered away from the family's campsite in the White Canyon area Friday afternoon and was found floating in the water by family members.
Some neighboring campers, who were emergency medical technicians, attempted to resuscitate the child until park rangers arrived. The child never regained complete consciousness.
This brings Glen Canyon National Recreation Area's total fatality figure to seven since the Fourth of July weekend. Four of the seven have been children, and of the seven fatalities, five have drowned.
"Any fatality is a tragedy, but when children are the victims, the tragedy is compounded," Park Superintendent Larry A. May. "We seem to be continually reminding visitors - after the fact - to think safety at all times when in or around water."