Lake Mead is Deadliest National Park?

Discussion in 'Lake Powell Issues' started by Powelldreamer, Mar 12, 2017.

  1. Powelldreamer

    Powelldreamer Well-Known Member

  2. Ryan

    Ryan Well-Known Member

    How does visitation to Mead compare to Powell?
  3. Powelldreamer

    Powelldreamer Well-Known Member

    Mead gets more than Powell I thought I read somewhere. Which makes sense given it's location to Vegas.
    Bill Sampson likes this.
  4. Waterbaby

    Waterbaby Administrator Staff Member

    This really isn't a surprise. It is a heavily-used lake [BTW Lake Mead National Recreation Area takes in Lake Mohave].....heavy use from Las Vegas as well as from the Los Angeles area. I get pop-up news-flash of drownings all too often - especially during heavy wind events and in most cases it is fairly young adults, diving in, boat floats away, person drowns. I've often been tempted to post here so people would be less caviler about safety issues. Wish people would realize a lake is not a swiming pool and if you are going in wear a vest or some sort of flotation device. A Lake is not a pool. If you are hot [and it gets VERY hot on these lower lakes] and you are drinking and eating and dive in to cool off the odds of a cramp which will take you down increases. Right now we are in Spring break on these lower lakes and right here on Havasu the emergency calls have already spiked and we already had a boat sink in Thompson bay [Havasu].... and holiday weekends are the worst!
    James Todd likes this.
  5. Bill Sampson

    Bill Sampson Well-Known Member

    One of my thoughts here, which somewhat agrees with Waterbaby is that this article may have not taken into account that the Lake Mead Recreational Area includes Lake Havasu and Lake Mojave. If you include Lake Havasu during a holiday weekend, that helps explain the death rate.
  6. Waterbaby

    Waterbaby Administrator Staff Member

    Not Havasu. We are a reservoir split in half between California and Arizona as is the river between Needles and the entrance to Havasu. One side is CA and the other is AZ. The Lake Mead National Recreation Area is Lake Mead and Lake Mohave and both get a lot of heavy use from Las Vegas as well as California. We have our share of drownings here, but not on the scale I see popping up on a regular basis from the Vegas News from Mead and Mohave. A lot of drownings on the river below Davis Dam, too. I think swimmers do not always understand the force of the river when the dam is letting water out and get caught up in it - there is also a lot of jet ski vs boat accidents around the Laughlin as well as Needles areas - I see reports of many more than we have here on Havasu. One of our top issues is people going to Copper Canyon and cliff jumping - we were in there last Summer when a girl jumped and broke her back.
    James Todd likes this.
  7. Powelldreamer

    Powelldreamer Well-Known Member

    Actually I remember seeing somewhere that alcohol was only a minor contributor to the 271 deaths. I was surprised but grateful.
  8. Powelldreamer

    Powelldreamer Well-Known Member

    Despite the park's reputation as a party destination, Vanover said only a small percentage of drownings — and fatalities in general — seem to involve alcohol. Weather, particularly wind, tends to be a much bigger factor.

    "It's really not the party crowd. It's people who don't understand the power of the lake," she said. "Some people think it's like a swimming pool."
    James Todd and Ryan like this.
  9. Waterbaby

    Waterbaby Administrator Staff Member

    If they are reporting that it is a surprise to me. In the jet ski accidents it has been a combo of alcohol and underage and inexperience with operating them in a crowded environment and turning into or in front of a boat, a few have hit the bridge, last year a young girl was killed on the back of a jet ski near Laughlin when a drunk boater hit the jet ski she was riding on with her mother..and we get too many jet ski collisions - which is not unknown to happen on Lake Powell.. but with the swimming incidents they invariably report they people had been drinking, it was windy, and went in the water to swim and they drowned. And, wind is a major issue for sure on both Mead and Mohave - not as much on Havasu - Mohave and Mead are practially in a wind tunnel compared to Havasu.. you can leave Havasu and drive over to Bullhead City, it will be dead calm here and you have it blowing a gale over there....

    They also get the monsoons more than we do - usually if the storms do not come up from Yuma they will come over the Phoenix area toward Kingman, hit the Hualapai Mountains outside Kingman and turn and head straight for the Lake Mohave, Lake Mead areas with tremendous force. We will remain dry and calm over here.. if they do hit here they will normally follow the lake, though and have been known to kill when they do - one pontoon boat was hit in such a storm by a microburst, flipped over and killed the driver, but as a rule you can see them coming here and we have a lot of coves to hide out in til a storm passes - unless you are in the big bay between Havasu and Havasu Landing - it can be as dicey as Warm Creek in a big monsoon blow. same thing happens down in Phoenix area lakes, people killed on their boats from lightening or a storm sinking the boats with a lot of passengers on board.

    Heck here during Spring Break - and so far it is fairly quiet - we've had a boat sink and calls to the channel for someone who was drunk, and found face-down, unresponsive.. and a fight between two girls. Take a holiday weekend with many times the numbers here right now and multiple the incidents, it gets really crazy. Powell has problems for various reasons, but it is quiet compared to the lakes on this end of the Colorado River.

    Bottom line is we all think this will never happen to us, but it can and it does. Like I said earlier people should wear vests when going out into deep water - most don't, but doesn't mean it is not smart to do so... and we learned the hard way on Lake Powell last year - children need vests on at all times.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
  10. Powelldreamer

    Powelldreamer Well-Known Member

    This was a quote directly from the article. I understand what the perception is and what gets reported but until they have actual info not sure we would know for sure. In my mind alcohol would be a big contributor. I also think the feeling on invincibility is probably a bigger concern.