The Twin Falls Police Department was dispatched at 8:15 p.m. Sunday, June 8 to Dierkes Lake to a report of a drowning. When officers arrived, they found a Hispanic male, whose name and age are unknown, unconscious as bystanders attempted to perform CPR. The individual is believed to be from Mexico and was not carrying identification.
According to witnesses, the individual had been drinking and did not know how to swim. He was “dared” to jump into the deep end of the swimming area from the docks. When he did, witnesses said he immediately began to struggle and went under the water. Several people attempted to assist the individual but were unsuccessful. Witnesses said the individual then went under the water before resurfacing and unresponsive.
The Twin Falls County Sheriff’s Office administered an automated external defibrillator and bystanders continued CPR until Magic Valley Paramedics arrived and transported the individual to St. Luke’s Magic Valley Hospital. The individual was pronounced dead at the hospital.
There were not lifeguards on duty at the time of the drowning, as the City of Twin Falls provides seasonal lifeguard services beginning June 14. The City has added an extra lifeguard to the Dierkes Lake staff in response to the increasing number of visitors to the late, bringing the number of lifeguards on duty during peak hours to a total of five. The City is also conduction training for all lifeguards at Dierkes Lake beginning Monday, June 9 through Friday, June 13. The training will prepare lifeguards for the upcoming summer months, when the City expects to see a large number of visitors to the lake and surrounding park.
“We know that more people are recreating at Dierkes Lake because the population is growing and the lake is an extremely popular place for families to escape the summer heat,” said Dennis Bowyer, City of Twin Falls Parks and Recreation Director. “We have added additional personnel and training to ensure that the lake remains a safe place to swim and recreate.”
The City would like to remind swimmers and park visitors to exercise safety and caution while swimming or recreating around Dierkes Lake. Although the City will provide lifeguard services until late-August, it is important for park visitors to remember the following:
- Parents should closely monitor their children in and around the water at all times
- Visitors who are unable to swim should remain within the designated shallow area
- Never swim alone
- Alcohol is prohibited at Dierkes Lake