LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Lake Mead has seen almost the same number of deaths this year as all of last year, and the concern lingers as monsoon season picks up and ‘pre-back-to-school’ crowds head to the water.

The Webb family hoped to avoid those crowds early Friday morning, as 8-year-old Suzette Webb is diving into the third grade next week. Her father, Michael Webb, tried to keep her and the other six kids at the lake with them at bay.

“We like to have lifejackets on them at all times, no matter how deep you are. That way, you’re safe no matter what,” Michael said as his daughter stood close by. “We have whistles if they’re out too far. We blow the whistle and bring them back, and kind of collect them and corral them up and whatnot.”

“Are you good at swimming?” 8 News Now asked Suzette. “Not really,” the 8-year-old replied.

Not everyone is as prepared as them. The number of drownings and other fatalities reported on these waters reveal a murky reality of this recreation that’s eerily approaching last year’s total.

The National Park Service (NPS) reports six drownings within the Lake Mead Recreation Area (LMRA) this year. 47 were reported between 2014 to 2017, the most of any national park during that time. It represented over 12% of all national park drownings at the time.

John Haynes, public affairs officer for the recreation area, acknowledges the two most recent drownings from this past weekend. One was a camper who went swimming early in the morning alone and never returned to camp. The other was wind-related.

“A couple was out with a boat, decided to go for a swim, and it sounds like the boat drifted away from them, and they just couldn’t get back to it,” Haynes said inside his Boulder City office Friday afternoon. “August is typically the most dangerous month for us on the lake, and it’s just begun.”

That’s amid several rescue missions to retrieve those blown away on paddle boards and pool floaties. Haynes detailed two instances like these from last weekend involving teenagers and one young girl blown away and unable to return to shore.

The concern now: quickly moving monsoons. It joins the long-standing concerns of pool toys on the big lake and boaters drinking and driving.

Despite increased LMRA staff and patrol over the summer, Haynes says this summer has been one of the busiest.

“Some aren’t even paying attention to the weather. They just go out for the day and all of a sudden, the clouds come in,” Haynes said. “The wind can catch a pool toy and push it right out of the swimming area very quickly.”

“We’ve just really had a rough summer, and we would just really, really like to see no fatalities,” he added.

NPS also reported six motor vehicle accidents and six suicides in the recreation area this year, bringing the total amount of deaths to 19. This is just two shy of the total number of deaths in 2022.

Haynes adds that some of these fatalities occur on bridges and roads LMRA does not own, but end on waters that they do.