Kayaker Drowns at Forebay Reservoir
It was a week ago on July 6 that a drowning took place on Forebay Reservoir, located above the Twin Lakes Recreation Area. Here are the facts gathered by Leadville Today regarding the incident which first came into the LT newsroom by reader J. Stevens.
“We were on a family fishing trip up at Forebay to celebrate my birthday on July 6th,” reported Stevens who also brought the incident to the attention of Lake County Dispatch Center. “I called 911 around 5:30 p.m. when I realized that a kayaker was drowning.”
Those facts from the eyewitness match up with the official report from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office sent to LT after a media inquiry regarding the incident was sent to the Sheriff and other emergency personnel.
Lake County Sheriff Amy Reyes Reported: “Drowning at Forebay on July 6, 2019: Family members called 911 reporting that the kayak their family members was in turned over at the north end of Forebay about 5:41. Responding to the call were Sheriff’s office deputies, Leadville/Lake County Fire Rescue, Search & Rescue, Summit County Sheriff’s Dive Team, St. Vincent Ambulance and Department of Wildlife personnel.”
LT reader Stevens continued:” I know he didn’t make it… sadly, my family and I watched him struggle and go under as his friend attempted to reach him via a desperately borrowed kayak…. I’d really love to hear about the outcome!”
The Sheriff confirmed: “After evaluating the situation and determining the individual was not visible, the Summit County Dive Team was called to assist. They arrived on scene at approx. 9:20 p.m. with several boats and equipment and prepared to search the water. The body was located about midnight and was recovered by 2 a.m. July 7. The victim was a 25-year-old man from Denver.”
LT Reader: “We’d like to send our condolences to the family, yet we haven’t heard anything regarding the outcome and we haven’t been able to find anything on the news. It was a very traumatic day for us and I can’t even begin to imagine what the family is going through. Are you able to provide an update?”
While the Sheriff’s report did not ID the deceased individual, perhaps other LT readers can fill in the blanks and help both of these families connect over this tragedy that happened in Lake County. Feel free to contact the LT newsroom at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rescue Success on Mt Elbert
On a positive note in emergency service, the Lake County Search & Rescue (LCSAR) team reported a successful mission which took place on Mt. Elbert yesterday, July 13. Here’s the official LCSAR report including photos from the day:
“Beautiful day for a rescue! On Saturday 7/13, eleven LCSAR members deployed up the North Elbert trail to assist a man with a knee injury. The patient was unable to walk and he was carried down in a litter. Carrying patients in litters on backcountry trails is challenging and must be handled carefully and slowly. We are happy to report that everything went well and everyone (including the patient!) stayed in good spirits all the long way down. The gorgeous views were a bonus.”
“However, we were concerned that we saw a handful of people well below treeline heading up to the summit in the middle of the afternoon. This is too late in the afternoon to try to summit a 14er. Clouds forming and thunder and lightning were in the forecast.”
Arrest of Leadville Police Officer
In other law enforcement news, Lake County Public information Officer Betty Benson released the following press release to media outlets on July 9, 2019:
Leadville Police Officer Joel Cage was arrested on July 4 at approx. 3:39 am for third-degree burglary, first-degree criminal trespass and domestic violence. At the time of his arrest he was employed by the city of Leadville as a police officer. He was placed on administrative leave, pending investigation.
No other information was provided with the media advisory.