PUEBLO, Colo. — Colorado Parks and Wildlife confirmed two bodies were recovered after rangers began search and rescue operations, looking for two missing swimmers, on the north side of Lake Pueblo Friday afternoon.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) officials say two separate drownings occurred Friday afternoon unrelated to one another.
The Pueblo County Coroner confirmed both victims were military personnel stationed at Fort Carson. The victims in the separate drowning incidents were Zion Tompkins and Michael Carter.
According to CPW, the Sailboard Road access point at the lake is a popular beach area for jetskiers and standup paddleboards – that’s where they say the two drownings occurred.
At the time, they say several hundred people were at the beach area. Witnesses reported seeing the men go under the water and never come back up.
Boats began scanning the water with sonar devices as officers onshore cleared about 400 park visitors from the area.
Officials say they’ve recovered the two bodies in Lake Pueblo.
At 4:15 p.m., a CPW boat located an object in about 6 feet of water. The dive team entered the water and recovered the body, turning it over to the Pueblo County Coroner’s Office.
As that recovery was underway, CPW’s ROV located the second body and brought it to shore for the coroner to take possession.
The victims have yet to be identified as well as their exact causes of death.
“This is another sad example of why swimming is not permitted anywhere in Lake Pueblo. Swimming is only permitted in Rock Canyon Swim Beach below the dam. This incident also points to the importance of wearing life jackets when you are in the water,” said Lake Pueblo State Park Manager Monique Mullis.