Officials are urging visitors to remain cautious following two drownings at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.
The National Park Service said Friday that the fatalities occurred over the past weekend.
The fatalities bring the total number of deaths this year in the area – Lake Mead sits at the Nevada-Arizona border – to 19.
“Two more people drowned at Lake Mead NRA – that’s 19 fatalities this year, a sad trend we want to change,” Acting Superintendent Mike Gauthier said in a release. “We are still seeing multiple incidents and accidents, both on the land and on the water.”
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There were also several close calls with boaters being caught off-guard as monsoon winds swept through the area unexpectedly, creating hazardous conditions on the water.
There were also noted ongoing instances were swimmers with pool toys and paddleboards were blown from designated swimming areas out into the lake by the strong winds.
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Authorities point out that lifejackets save lives and that pool toys are “prohibited and dangerous” when the wind carries swimmers away or when they pop or deflate.
The release pointed out officials see unsafe boating practices there every day, including drinking and driving and heat-related illness.
It’s also monsoon season, which means unpredictable rainy and windy weather conditions with little-to-no warning.
“We want all of our visitors to have a rewarding, positive experience at Lake Mead [National Recreation Area],” said Gauthier, “and we really want everyone to make it home safely.”
Lake Mead has seen its water level drop over the past year as the Colorado River reservoir behind Hoover Dam recedes because of drought and climate change.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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