Man dies at Lake Mead Recreation Area after paddle boarding - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Man dies at Lake Mead Recreation Area after paddle boarding

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LAKE MEAD (FOX5) -

The Clark County Coroner's Office identified a 34-year-old man who died while swimming at Lake Mead National Recreational Area Wednesday. 

The coroner's office identified Marco Ruvalcaba as the victim. 

According to a spokesperson for Lake Mead, authorities received a report of a possible drowning at 3:33 p.m. at Special Events Beach in the Boulder Beach area. 

National Park Service rangers, Nevada Department of Wildlife wardens and Community Ambulance responded to the incident and rescued three people in the water by boat. 

Ruvalcaba was pulled from the water by bystanders and was unconscious. He was later pronounced dead. 

“I blamed myself because I made the plans to go to the lake,” Stephanie Dingman, a valley woman grieving her friend’s death said.

Dingman said she invited her closest friends to Lake Mead Wednesday afternoon for a relaxing day on the water.

Ruvalcaba and his son were there. Ruvalcaba used Dingman’s paddle board. Marco's 10-year-old son took a kayak.

“He was doing really good,” Dingman said. “Next thing I knew he was tipping and he fell over.”

Ruvalcaba was not wearing a life jacket according to the National Park Service.

“I don’t think he knew how to swim,” Dingman said.

When Ruvalcaba struggled in the water, Dingman said she and her daughter tried to swim to his rescue.

“(My daughter) pulled him up and then I got to him and I lifted his head above the water. And swam back,” Dingman said.

It was too late. Ruvalcaba was unconscious. Paramedics told her he died at the scene.

“In the past 10 years, of all the people who drown in this lake, only one was wearing a life jacket and he wasn’t wearing it properly. So it came off when he jumped into the water,” Christie Vanover, of the National Parks Service said.

Vanover said she expects about 200,000 people at the lake this holiday weekend.

“Take personal responsibility, look out for your friends, family, wear those jackets, keep an eye on your kids,” Vanover said.

Dingman said Ruvalcaba’s son did not see him fall.

Ruvalcaba’s immediate family is from Mexico. Dingman said they are making their way to Las Vegas to make the funeral arrangements.

To donate to Ruvalcaba's GoFundMe account, click here.

The incident remains under investigation. 

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