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Delayed runoff creating frigid water temperatures

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In the wake of Sunday’s drowning at East Canyon State Park, officials are warning park goers about water safety.

It follows the death of 25-year-old Shervin Rayeneh who died when he jumped into the water without a life jacket.

Officials say shortly afterwards, he began to struggle and started swimming back to the boat, and then went under.

They believe the water’s cold temperature may have played a role.

“The water conditions especially this year are very, very cold,” said Lt. Eric Stucki of Utah State Parks and Recreation. “The lakes are just getting their runoff. There is debris in the runoff that’s coming into our lakes. That cold water will definitely have some effects on your body when you get into the water.”

Officials say hypothermia can begin to set in.

Typically, the surface water’s temperature this time of year is 71-degrees.

But, right now, officials say its 61-degrees on the surface, 57-degrees the closer you get to the runoff with temperatures dropping drastically 10 to 15 feet under the water.

“Normally, our runoff occurred in May,” said Lt. Stucki. We’re barely getting to it now in June and we’re almost in the end of June and the runoff is still occurring.”

Park officials say it’s all due to the mountain snow that is still melting.

“We really want people to come out and enjoy our parks, but we want them to use some good sense,” said Lt.Stucki.

That includes swimmers wearing life jackets, monitoring their alcohol consumption as well as making sure they stay properly hydrated.

“We want to make folks aware that when they’re in the sunshine they have to make sure that they’re hydrated, said Lt. Stucki.

Officials are also recommending, swimmers let someone know where they’re going and when they’ll be back.

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