Las Vegas Sun

November 26, 2020

Currently: 99° — Complete forecast

Body of woman who went missing at Lake Mead is recovered

Crews on Saturday morning recovered the body of a woman who went underwater at Lake Mead National Recreation Area Wednesday night after she jumped in to try to help a man who was drowning, the National Park Service said. 

“Officers, friends and family dedicated many hours, hoping for the best. We are saddened by the outcome of this search,” said Lake Mead Superintendent Margaret Goodro in a news release. “We have had care teams offering support to the family for the past several days, and we will continue to be there for them through this difficult time.” 

A boater reported finding the body at 10:39 a.m, officials said, though it wasn’t clear where.

She jumped into the water and disappeared about 9:20 p.m. Wednesday near the Special Events Beach, about 30 miles southwest of Las Vegas.

Officials said Thursday that a gust of wind had blown six people, who were on an “oversized inflatable flamingo,” into the lake. 

One of the men jumped off the floater but began to struggle as he was swimming to shore. Several people, including the decedent, jumped into the water to help him, officials said.

A helicopter search was postponed that night due to low visibility but continued Thursday, officials said. It wasn’t until two days later that the woman’s body would resurface from the water.

Wind was gusting about 30 mph when she disappeared, and officials again were warning boaters about the dangers of those conditions. Sunday’s punishing winds expected to blow 40 to 50 mph can create waves measuring 2-4 feet. “These winds will be strong enough to swamp small craft and blow inflatable toys into the middle of the lake. Swimming is discouraged; life jackets are strongly recommended,” officials wrote in the release.