Summit County Sheriff’s Office recovers drowned victim from Dillon Reservoir

Multiple agencies collaborated to find a man who drowned at Dillon Reservoir on Saturday, July 16. Officials believe the man, Miguel Mendez, 25, of Englewood, had been blown off his paddleboard as a storm cell created a microburst over the lake. The microburst separated him from his board and he was unable to keep his head above the water.
Summit County Sheriff’s Office/Courtesy photo

The Summit County Sheriff’s Office recovered the body of a presumed drowned paddleboarder on Dillon Reservoir Saturday night, July 16.

At approximately 2 p.m. Saturday, the Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call to the reservoir after a male adult had been blown off his paddleboard as a storm cell created a microburst over the reservoir. The microburst separated the male from his board and he was unable to keep his head above the water. According to a news release from the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, witnesses said that he had a personal flotation device strapped to the board, but he was not wearing it.

According to an earlier report, the individual was with a group of friends that came up from the Front Range to go paddleboarding. It stated the group saw the approaching storm and was heading back to the Dillon Marina when the weather suddenly came over them. The rain, winds and large waves created by the microburst separated the group.

Using specialized underwater side scanner sonar devices and remote-operating vehicles, the release said the victim was quickly located approximately 100 yards offshore from the Roberts Tunnel shoreline, directly across from Dillon Marina, in about 60 feet of water. The Summit County Water Rescue Team, Summit County Rescue Group and Colorado State Parks Water Recovery Team assisted in the search and recovery of the victim.

“Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of the victim,” Summit County Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons said in the release. “These search and recovery events can be extremely long in duration. The longer they run the more pain and anguish they can cause. I am comforted that we were able to locate and recover the victim quickly and bring closure to his family and friends.” 

The case has now been turned over to the Summit County Coroner’s Office, which will release the name of the victim and the cause and manner of death. 

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