One teenager died just after swimming in a lake after a hike out in California with a group earlier this month.
The Sheriff’s office of Madera County put out an official statement this past Thursday, stating that it had received a call at about 8 p.m. on the 10th of August “regarding a teenage subject who had gone missing from his hiking party near Thousand Island Lake.” Thousand Island Lake is located in the area of eastern Madera County at a rough elevation of 9,833 feet with 10,000-foot peaks all around it. It is located close to Yosemite National Park and is quite well known for the many small islands scattered across the lake.
Coming from Los Angeles County, the 18-year-old nature enthusiast had been hiking with a group through the mountains. He had been for roughly eight hours already before the call was issued to police officials. Earlier in the day, at just about midday, he chose to go swimming by himself out to one of the islands at the lake and was last visible on the shore by the group with whom he had gone out with.
“While Search and Rescue teams were coordinating resources, the reporting party called back to advise they located the subject and needed immediate medical assistance,” explained the statement. “Due to the urgent nature of the incident, a request was placed with the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services for a military helicopter to respond. Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore accepted the mission and responded to the location for medical assistance.”
When the NAS Lemoore Helicopter finally made it to the scene, it was clear that the young man had passed away. He and his father were taken out to Fresno Yosemite International Airport, where they met up with police and personnel from the sheriff’s office.
A cause of death was not issued, but the authorities went on to state that they “would like to caution those who recreate in the outdoors, our high-country alpine lakes are still extremely cold even if the valley floor sees 100-degree days. At Thousand Island Lake, the overnight lows are in the low 40’s at night, and the lake itself is fed by glaciers from Mount Ritter and Mount Banner, the peaks of which are -/+ 12,000 feet in elevation.”
“Even in the warmer months, the water is extremely cold,” it continued.
“On behalf of the Madera County Sheriff’s Office, I extend our sincere condolences to the family and friends of the young man during this tragic time,” explained Sheriff Tyson Pogue. “Incidents like this are truly heartbreaking, and some of the hardest calls we conduct as first responders. Thank you to our allied agencies for their swift efforts to assist us with this mission, and helping to provide support to the family.”