LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Game wardens with the Nevada Department of Wildlife say they rescued three people on Lake Mead earlier this month after an afternoon storm capsized the kayaks of these individuals, leaving them struggling in the water.
According to the report, Nevada game wardens James Mortimore and Sean Flynn were on patrol on Lake Mead on Saturday, Feb. 13 when they witnessed a storm moving in over the water.
The game wardens say they returned to the Las Vegas Boat Harbor and prepared for emergency calls that often come with these types of storms.
Just after 2 p.m. they say they received a report of three people seen in the water between Boulder Beach and Boulder Island. The rescue reports says that despite the high winds and five- to six-foot waves, Mortimore and Flynn were able to locate the victims in less than four minutes from receiving the report of these individuals in the water.
“Two of the victims were not wearing life jackets and were clinging to a kayak, and the third was floating with a life jacket loosely around her,” said Mortimore.
“It was a good thing we were able to get there as quickly as we did, because the situation could have turned tragic very quickly,” added Mortimore.
Flynn and Mortimore were able to pull all three victims onto their boat and return them to the boat dock where other NDOW game wardens and medical staff from the National Park Service evaluated them for injuries before releasing them.
“They made two critical mistakes that almost cost them their lives,” said Mortimore.
“First, they didn’t check the weather report before heading out. That storm was forecast that morning. Had they checked the report, they would have known to head in before the afternoon. Second, they were not wearing their life jackets,” added Mortimore.
Once the storm began to subside, the two game wardens were able to retrieve the victim’s kayaks and equipment and return it.
Lake Mead Game Wardens recommend that before entering the water that visitors check the weather report for storm forecasts and to wear life jackets for safety because “no one can outswim a storm.”