WASATCH COUNTY, Utah — An 18-year-old man from Venezuela died after drowning at Deer Creek State Park on Sunday, according to Utah State Parks.
John Ballan of Zulia, Venezuela was visiting the park when he drowned while trying to help a family member that was struggling in the water.
Park rangers responded to an incident at 4:30 p.m. Sunday that involved two people swimming near the Sailboat Beach area.
Ballan jumped from his boat to help a family member that was struggling in the water. The family member was saved, however, Ballan then was lost in the water. Rescue teams did not locate his body until 11:30 p.m. Sunday night.
Both Ballan and the family member that was struggling were not wearing life jackets.
State Park officials noted that the water temperature was around 64 degrees with waves and high winds, which may have contributed to the incident.
“With the recreation season now underway, Utah State Parks would like to remind everyone that while Utah’s outdoors are beautiful places to explore, safety needs to be a top priority,” officials said in a statement.
“Always recreate with a buddy, wear your life jackets and helmets, and always let somebody know where you are going and when to expect your return. Checking weather conditions and water temperatures is also vital.”
An investigation is currently ongoing.