Friends of teen who drowned speak about the tragic accident

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The body of a 17-year-old boy from North Las Vegas was recovered from Lake Mohave Wednesday afternoon.

Friends of Troynell Johnson spoke with 8 News NOW, and they said the teen from North Las Vegas disappeared while he was swimming with friends at Lake Mohave on Tuesday. 

Friends of Johnson, a recent graduate of Canyon High School said Johnson was like a brother.

“He was there for anybody if you needed him,” said Brian Freeman, friend.

“If I were doing something wrong, Troy would tell me ‘don’t do that, don’t do that,'” said Keaton Butler, Friend

The teens said they were with Johnson cliff jumping near Morning Star Cove when Johnson’s body maxed out.

“He started to get exhausted almost half way through the swim, and we could see that he was starting to panic, so we started doggy pedaling.  He screamed for help, and we tried to assist him the best we could,” said Di’Amond Brown, Johnson’s friend.

However, the circumstances made it too hard to save their friend’s life.

“Juan Johnson was in the water with Troynell trying to lift him up as me and my three other friends ran around the side.  We tried to get him on the side, but it just became too much for Juan, Brown said.

A spokesperson for the Lake Mead National Recreation area says even though it’s legal, they highly discourage cliff jumping.

“The challenge that people are facing, it’s not so much the cliff-jumping itself, it’s not that they’re running into things when they cliff jump, it’s actually the exertion that it places on your body,” said Christie Vanover, Public Affairs Officer, Lake Mead National Rec Area.

Officials say triple digit temps combined with Lake Mohave’s 50-degree water can shock your body, making a reasonable swim impossible.

Johnson’s death is the third cliff jumping drowning death this year.  The other victims were also teenage boys and they too weren’t wearing a life-jacket.  Authorities say they all drowned due to exhaustion.

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