ATTN: CPW will not provide any media availability regarding this incident
July 15, 2023
Two survive sinking boat in Lake Pueblo; Pueblo County divers recover body of third passenger
PUEBLO, Colo. – A small ski boat carrying three people began taking on water and quickly sank Saturday evening shortly after launching at Lake Pueblo State Park prompting a frantic rescue attempt by witnesses on shore and by Colorado Parks and Wildlife park rangers.
Two boat passengers wearing life jackets resurfaced when the boat went underwater and were rescued by CPW rangers. A third passenger, who was wearing pants and boots but no life jacket, tried to swim to shore but quickly began struggling.
Witnesses on shore tried to swim out to the man but were unable to reach him before he disappeared below the surface of the water, estimated to be 72 degrees at the time.
CPW called in the Pueblo County Sheriff’s volunteer dive team and they quickly recovered the body in about 7 feet of water. CPW then pulled the sunken boat to shore.
The body was turned over to the Pueblo County Coroner for identification, notification of relatives and a formal determination of the cause of death.
“While we continue to investigate, this appears to be a tragic accident,” said Daryl Seder, senior park ranger at Lake Pueblo. “We offer our condolences to the family and friends of this victim.”
Seder said the incident occurred about 50 yards offshore near the Big Lizard Picnic Pavilion on the lake’s north side, just west of the North Shore Marina and boat ramp.
He described the boat as an older, low-profile ski boat. The two survivors on the boat told CPW rangers how they noticed the boat was taking on water shortly after they left the marina’s “no wake” zone and passed its buoy.
The combination of the weight from the water in the boat and choppy waves on the lake swamped the boat, causing it to quickly sink, Seder said. It’s unknown why the boat was taking on water.
This is the first death on Lake Pueblo this year. If confirmed by the coroner, this death would be the 24th water-related death in Colorado in 2023. In addition, there are three people still missing and presumed dead in water-related incidents this year. A record 42 people died in water-related incidents in 2022.
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