Coroner identifies 2 Fort Carson soldiers after separate drownings at Lake Pueblo

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PUEBLO, Colo. — The Pueblo County Coroner has identified the two men who drowned at Lake Pueblo Friday afternoon.

Michael Carter, 21, and Zion Thomkins, 21, died in two separate drownings, according to the Pueblo County Coroner.

Both were members of the U.S. military stationed at Ft. Carson. Their families have been notified.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife confirmed two bodies were recovered after rangers began search and rescue operations, on the north side of Lake Pueblo.

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.

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.

“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.

No further details have been released at this time.

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