LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A man is dead after drowning in the Bellagio Fountains. Metro police say he was a local transient.
8 News Now spoke to a woman who saw the man take his shirt off, run toward the railing and jump in. She says he seemed disturbed and was yelling.
We are awaiting identification from the coroner. Police would only describe him as a white male in his 50s.
They don’t know if he was on drugs or if he was drinking prior to jumping in.
Kayla Eklund, visiting from Michigan, provided us video of the incident.
“He was walking for a second, and then swam into the middle, confidently swimming,” Eklund recounted.
After a few minutes, she says he stopped, was treading water and then started yelling for help.
“I started yelling, ‘you’re so close, keep swimming, you’re so close, you’re almost there, just kick,” she recalled. “Then, he started yelling again for help, so I called 911, and he started to go under.”
Some people tried to rescue him, but they didn’t get far.
“Someone jumped in, took off his dress shirt to try and get him out of the water, but they couldn’t lift him because he was too heavy,” Eklund explained. “Someone else tried to jump in, but they couldn’t lift him, and he drowned.”
She said those who tried to save him were in “worse shape.”
“Felt very bad for him afterwards cause he was so distraught from trying to save him that he was in worse shape, for sure. Then the second guy, a couple other people wanted to jump in, but it was so late. Nobody thought it was going to happen because of how confidently he was swimming in the middle.”
Eklund says it was an incredibly sad thing to witness, and others who saw it were also upset.
“The last couple times I saw him, he was like bobbing his head up and down, and then he fell backwards and was just laying.”
By the time help arrived, the man had died.
Metro says this is an unfortunate reminder to everyone that they need to be safe and not jump in any of the water features on the Strip.