SALT LAKE CITY — A man drowned on Lake Powell Sunday while boating with a group of friends.
Justin Shannon, 46, from West Jordan, died Sunday evening while trying to help a friend who was struggling in the water after high winds picked up while they were swimming in the Waheap Bay, according to the Kane County Sheriff’s Office.
Shannon jumped in to help the friend when he began to struggle too. Neither were wearing life jackets, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.
The boat that Shannon and his friend were on drifted away from them while they struggled to swim and couldn’t be restarted quickly enough due to mechanical issues, the sheriff’s office reported. Another passenger on the boat tried to throw a flotation device to Shannon, but he couldn’t reach it.
When the boat finally made it back to them, another passenger jumped in and saved the first swimmer by putting them in a life jacket. They grabbed Shannon, who was now under water.
He was moved onboard and received CPR from one of the passengers while they travelled south to the Stateline Launch Ramp, the sheriff’s office said.
Two off-duty firefighters took over performing CPR until National Park Service rangers arrived. The rangers continued the life saving measures, including a defibrillator, but couldn’t revive Shannon. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Shannon’s body was transported to the Utah State Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy, according to the sheriff’s office. The sheriff’s office, National Park Service and Utah State Medical Examiner’s Office are investigating the incident.
“All boaters are reminded to be aware of changing weather conditions, to immediately seek safe haven in high winds or storms, and to always wear life jackets when boating and recreating on or around water,” the news release said.