UPDATE: Man drowns at Deer Creek Reservoir, identified

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SUNDAY 07/04/21 10:30 a.m.

DEER CREEK RESERVOIR, Utah (ABC4) – Officers have released further details regarding the drowning at Deer Creek Reservoir.

On July 4, the Utah Department of Natural Resources states, the victim has been identified as 69-year-old Randall Fern.

According to officials, Fern had been canoeing with four other family members when their boats became swamped. Unable to right their canoes, the group decided to swim to shore. 

DNR shares that about 15-feet away from shore, Fern began to struggle to stay above water and was under distress. He was not wearing a life jacket. 

“A passerby was able to assist in getting Fern on board their boat and to the boat ramp where first-responders were waiting and worked to revive him. Despite their best efforts, Fern was pronounced dead at the scene. The other family members in the group are uninjured,” DNR details.

This incident remains under investigation.

“Utah State Parks expresses our condolences to Fern’s friends and family,” they add. “We would also like to remind those who are venturing into the outdoors to always stay on guard and to make safety a top priority. Always remember to wear a properly fitting U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket. Recreate within your ability and set a good example for other recreators and children around you.”

SATURDAY 07/03/21 12:00 p.m.

DEER CREEK RESERVOIR, Utah (ABC4) – A man has died after drowning at Deer Creek Reservoir, Saturday.

According to the Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office, deputies received a call that an adult man was found unconscious in a capsized canoe at Deer Creek Reservoir around 12:15 p.m.

Multiple agencies such as State Parks, Wasatch County Fire, and Sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene.  

“A Good Samaritan was able to get the man on their boat, and take him to shore where rescue crews were waiting,” shares the office. “Despite their best efforts, he died at the scene.”

Deputies state the man is 69 years old, from Salt Lake City, Utah.

“The incident occurred near the island. Unfortunately, it does not appear the individual was wearing a life jacket. The State Medical Examiner’s Office will determine the official cause of death,” adds the team. “We encourage those swimming and playing on the water to wear life jackets, be aware of their personal limitations on the water, and plan accordingly. We thank all of our first responders, including the 911 dispatchers, for working through these tragic situations and serving so well.”

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