Texas man dies after jumping into Lake Powell to save family dog, park rangers say

A Texas man is dead after jumping into Lake Powell on the Utah-Arizona border Thursday to rescue his dog, according to park rangers.

David John, a 62-year-old from Greenville, 50 miles northeast of Dallas, was attempting to save the family pet after it jumped off a houseboat that had gotten detached from an anchor and was drifting to the center of a cove, according to a news release on Friday from park rangers at the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

John had been trying to retrieve the houseboat around the time he jumped in for the dog, but “appeared to be fatigued,” rangers said.

He and the dog “both disappeared from view,” rangers said, but then the person who reported the incident kayaked to John, “brought him to shore, and began CPR.”

Rangers said the incident was reported as a “presumed drowning” on Thursday around 4:30 p.m. at Ice Cream Canyon on Lake Powell, which is in Utah’s Kane County “across from Lone Rock Beach in the Wahweap District of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area near Page, Arizona.”

Rangers said John died at the scene after unsuccessful attempts to revive him, but the cause of death has yet to be determined.

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John’s body will undergo an autopsy at the Utah State Medical Examiner’s Office in Salt Lake City, rangers said, adding that “the incident is under investigation by the Kane County Sheriff’s Office, National Park Service, and the Kane County Medical Investigator.”

John’s death is the fourth at the lake in three weeks, KSL reports.

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Jared Gilmour is a McClatchy national reporter based in San Francisco. He covers everything from health and science to politics and crime. He studied journalism at Northwestern University and grew up in North Dakota.