Man’s body recovered from Lake Pueblo

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Colorado Parks and Wildlife Park Ranger Daryl Seder studies a computer screen displaying data from a sonar device being towed beneath a CPW rescue boat on Lake Pueblo State Park on Sunday night. The rescue team recovered a body about five hours after a man was reported missing in the lake. / Photo courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Colorado Parks and Wildlife Park Ranger Daryl Seder studies a computer screen displaying data from a sonar device being towed beneath a CPW rescue boat on Lake Pueblo State Park on Sunday night. The rescue team recovered a body about five hours after a man was reported missing in the lake. / Photo courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife

PUEBLO, Colo. — Crews recovered a man’s body hours after he disappeared while trying to retrieve an inflatable pool float in Lake Pueblo Sunday, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

CPW said the call for help came in around 4:30 p.m. Sunday. The man went missing as he tried to retrieve an inflatable pool float that had drifted away from shore at the Sailboard area on the north shore just west of the dam, according to CPW. He was trying to swim to the float when he disappeared.

CPW said visibility was about two feet in the water where he went missing.

Crews immediately launched a rescue boat and began using sonar and an underwater remotely operated vehicle to search for the man.

Around 9 p.m., crews found the man’s body about 40 feet from shore, in water that was about 7 feet deep.

The coroner identified the victim as Roberto Espinoza, 68, of Pharr, Texas. An autopsy will determine how he died.

If the coroner determines Espinoza died by drowning, his death would be the eighth drowning in Colorado this year. Six of the drownings have been on reservoirs, lakes, or ponds, while two have happened in swift water.

In 2020, 34 people drowned in Colorado waters–the highest number ever, according to CPW.

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