HURRICANE, Utah - The feeling at Sand Hollow State Park is a little more cautious out on the water after a man drowned on Wednesday while boating with family and friends.
Park managers said they do have some extra personnel on patrol to help keep everyone safe, but boaters said they’re also being more vigilant with themselves and with each other.
“We always have our life jackets on,” said St. George resident Corey Shamblen. “We already told the kids if they want to be in the water, they have to have life jackets on at all times, it doesn’t matter how strong a swimmer you are.”
Park managers say 26-year-old Hyrum S. Cooke of Colorado City, Arizona was not wearing a life jacket when he swam away from his family’s boat Wednesday evening. Family members found him unresponsive.
The drowning doesn’t seem to have deterred anyone from playing at the state park on the holiday, but it has made people more cautious.
“It’s always in the back of your mind that something like that happens, and it’s really sad and it’s tragic, but you just take extra precautions and keep more of an eye out,” said Southern California resident Carrie Campbell.
State law requires anyone under 12 years of age to wear a life jacket at all times while on a water craft, and those who go out on the water must have one life jacket on board for each adult. With so many people out on the water, rangers will be making patrols to ensure everyone is being safe, but still having fun.